Collective Spirit being put through her paces. Photo: Michael Austen
by Peta Stuart-Hunt
Keep your eyes peeled for the remarkable Rogers Olympiad 30, Collective Spirit (GBR7512L). The Boat Project, as it is perhaps better known, is a living archive of people's stories and lives, a 30ft vessel made from donated wooden items. From February to July 2011 the public donated their wood to the project, but not just any old wood. Pencil or piano-exotic as Zebrawood or as familiar as pine - every piece had a story behind it. Donations arrived in their thousands, from the highly personal to pieces of national importance. All of these donations were used to build a state-of-the-art seafaring yacht named, appropriately, Collective Spirit.
The boat's builder Mark Covell, who will also skipper the boat in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday 1st June, trained as a traditional boat builder and has worked in the marine industry and campaigned boats all his adult life. Together with Ian Walker, his Olympic team mate in Sydney 2000, he won a silver medal in the Star class.
Bowl me over
A former Offshore powerboat racer who has raced round the Island in under 40 minutes at an average of 80 knots in a force 6, has purchased the slowest boat on handicap entered in this year's race, Sundowner.
The 2011 Gold Roman Bowl winner and last year's Silver Roman Bowl winner has been sold to Chris Charlesworth who has had her beautifully restored over the winter by her original maker Jeremy Rogers at Lymington and has renamed her Meow (CO26). Chris chose this particular Contessa 26 for her impressive racing pedigree even though 40 years of hard sailing had taken its toll on her.
Significantly, her two best results were in the last two Round the Island Races when conditions have been the toughest in the Race's history. The boat was very tired and the last two RTIs had practically finished her off and she didn't have another race left in her. She badly needed a complete refit and was taken back to the bare hull and built again in what amounted to an eight month project. Chris proudly comments: "She now looks stunning and is a true modern classic and should hopefully be good for another 40 years."
Meow - restored to her former glory. Photo: SailSpy
Mark Chambers is the skipper of Fayme (GBR4108T), a Roberts 10.45, built as a racing yacht by Graham Roberts in Shoreham. Mark lives in Newhaven undertaking various work as tree house builder, software engineer, furniture salesman, gardener, fencer, web designer, handyman. He has his chainsaw certificate and Day Skipper certificate. The crew members are all related being Mark's brother, nephew and four of his sons.
Not so Clewless
The three co-owners of Clewless (GBR4044), who also share skipper duties, met at a cricket match in the Ship Science department at Southampton University. They decided they needed a destraction from their studies so bought a 31 year-old J/24. She has had substantial refit work done over a number of years to reverse some years of neglect and is taking part in her 5th Round the Island Race. She's also for sale as one of the co-owners, Richard Fruehmann, is working on a self-build yacht for a round-the-world voyage.
Final Prize Draw details
J.P. Morgan Asset Management, in their 9th year as title sponsor of the Round the Island Race, is offering one winner £3000 to invest in a J.P. Morgan Stocks and Shares ISA in our final Prize Draw of 2013. This will be placed in a J.P. Morgan Fund or Investment Trust of the winner's choice. The lucky winner's entry will be drawn on Friday 31st May and announced after the Race.
Terms and conditions apply
Click here to read the Terms & Conditions of Entry and enter the Prize Draw. http://rtir.me/
Timex Outstanding Seamanship Award
A final call to remind competitors to nominate those who they deem worthy of receiving this annual Award, sponsored by Timex and recognising acts of good seamanship on Race day. The ISC welcomes nominations for anyone involved whether a competitor, spectator, the emergency services or a race official. Make a note to email your nominations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow me, follow you!
The popular GPS tracking facility will again be in action this year. If you or your crew has a Blackberry, Android smartphone or iPhone with built-in GPS and an active internet connection, you will be able to track your race around the Island with the free GPS Race Tracking app. As well as keeping everyone watching at home up-to date with your progress, it will also give you the opportunity to replay the Race after you've finished to see where you gained (or lost) time on your rivals.
Organisers have made some improvements to the iPhone app this year to make it even easier to use, and those of you with 3G internet access will be able to use the web-based mobile Race Viewer to see where you are on the race track compared to your rivals. Visit the home page of the Race website http://www.roundtheisland.org.
uk to read all about it and register!
Under Starter's Orders...
The winner of our early May Prize Draw, and very excited to have been selected to officially start this year's Round the Island Race, is Lisa Higgins who hails from Polperro in Cornwall and now lives in the New Forest. Lisa will join the Race team very early on the morning of Saturday 1st June on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron Castle Platform to press the button that fires the starting cannons.
On receiving the news of her win, Lisa said, "I am completely overwhelmed, over the moon. It is an amazing race to be involved in and I predict it will be one of the most memorable days of my life, especially since it happens to fall on my birthday!"
...& only five days to entries closing
If you haven't already entered this year's Race, you have just one last chance to do so until midday on Saturday 25th May. http://rtir.me/entries
You can watch the range of 'Top Tips from the Experts' videos here http://rtir.me/videos, and to catch up on all the very Race news and event details, visit the official Race website:
JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race