Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Round the Island Race : Sailing doesn't get better than this!

Start of the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race from the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes. Image copyright Th. Martinez/Sea&Co.
If you're not competing, how would you like to be the Race Starter for the largest yacht race of its kind in the world on June 1st?
Click here to read the Terms & Conditions of Entry and enter the Draw. http://rtir.me/competition

by Peta Stuart-Hunt

Sir Ben Ainslie, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Dee Caffari MBE, Helena Lucas MBE, Alex Thomson, Mike Golding...certainly the most accomplished and recognised names in British, if not global yachting circles, and they're all racing around the Isle of Wight on Saturday 1st June in Britain's favourite yacht race, the annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

These top sailors will be joined by up to 16,000 others arriving in Cowes from all over the world by boat, plane, train, ferry and Red Jet, all hoping to make this the best day's racing this year.
As organisers and competitors alike start counting down the days in preparation, the Island Sailing Club is delighted to confirm a number of exciting features taking place in the lead up to and during the Race weekend.

BBC Coast features RTI 2012 Race on 8th May
Watch BBC 2 on 8th May at 8pm for the Round the Island Race feature that was filmed during last year's epic event. If you miss it, it is repeated on Sunday 12th May in the afternoon.
Sailing Logic Masterclass
Whether you are new to racing or simply want to know more about what to expect, join Sailing Logic's pre-Race Masterclass on May 25th, led by Tim Thubron who won in Division last year.  He will explain the key racing rules and how to apply them, talk you through the tidal gates and how they will affect you, share with you his local knowledge on tide patterns and eddies and highlight key hazards to avoid (including the wreck!). They will also cover reading the weather forecast and preparing your boat for the Race.  Alternatively if you have a crew but would like to know how to take them to the next level of performance, why not hire an experienced race coach for the day? Find out more http://www.sailinglogic.co.uk/racing/race-training/rti-race-masterclass.   
Haven Knox-Johnston
Haven Knox-Johnston has a stand in the Race Village in Cowes Yacht Haven and invites everyone to come and meet the renowned contemporary maritime artist Stephen Lees. There's a chance to win a Stephen Lees original, including an interpretation of your yacht, an opportunity to visit Stephen's gallery in Lymington to watch your own picture being completed and enjoy lunch with the artist in the New Forest. 

Roll up! Sir Ben Ainslie poster signing
Come and meet the world's greatest Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie, CBE.
Sir Ben will on the Henri Lloyd clothing stand in the Race Village after racing on Saturday 1 June from 1700hrs for a poster signing. Ben is competing on his AC45 catamaran J.P. Morgan BAR. The revised edition of Ben's autobiography 'Close to the Wind', which includes Ben's journey to and details of London 2012, will also be available for purchase during the poster signing session.

Henri-Lloyd 2013 - Celebrating 50 years of Originality
In 2013 the "Original British Sailing Brand" Henri-Lloyd will be celebrating 50 Years of Originality. Since the company's inception in 1963, Henri-Lloyd has pushed the boundaries to become one of the world's iconic marine brands, setting the standards for performance, safety and comfort.

On the Henri Lloyd stand in the Race Village the brand is displaying a collection of iconic Henri Lloyd technical products from the last 50 years as well as retailing its current technical range and the official Race merchandise collection.

Timex Winch Grinding Competition
Timex Watches are throwing down the gauntlet to see who can post the fastest time on the Lewmar winch grinding machine. Visit their marquee in the Race Village for a chance to win a watch worth £245. Timex or Nautica watches will be available from the following outlets on Cowes High Street: Benzies and T.M.Taylor.

Whisky tasting with Old Pulteney
Old Pulteney, producers of award-winning single malt whisky, is offering whisky tastings of its 12 year-old expression this year. The maritime malt tastings will be available to everyone attending the Raymarine Weather Briefing at the ISC on the Friday evening, as well as at various times throughout the Round the Island Race weekend in the Race Village.

Your small steps lead to giant strides for the official Race Charity
Support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, official Charity to the Race, and help young people aged between 8-24 regain their confidence, on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illness. Trust representatives will be on hand in the Race Village to provide information about how your generosity will give young people from hospitals throughout the UK the chance to experience life-changing sailing trips in the future. 

Make sure you drop by the Trust stand and test your skills playing giant inflatable volleyball and other giant-sized games!  To find out more, visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org
Meanwhile, an easy way to raise funds for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is by tweeting using the hash tag #raceforall.  For every tweet using #raceforall, J.P. Morgan will donate 10p until the 'Tweetometer' target of £3,000 is reached. View the latest fundraising tweets at www.roundtheisland.org.uk/raceforalldIn.
The popular GPS tracking facility will again be in action this year. If you or your crew have a Blackberry, Android smartphone or iPhone with built-in GPS and an active internet connection, you'll be able to track your Race around the Island with the free GPS tracking app. As well as keeping everyone watching at home up-to date with your progress, it'll also give you the opportunity to replay the Race after you've finished to see where you gained (or lost) time on your rivals. 

Our technical gurus have also 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 tracking preview page at http://rtir.me/trackingpreview for more information.

Weather Briefing
All competitors are invited to the Island Sailing Club at 1800hrs on Friday 31st May for the Raymarine Weather Briefing, the evening before the Race. Competitors get the latest weather and tidal information live, combined with expert tactical advice from professional meteorologist and Met Office trained, Chris Tibbs. In addition, competitors can evaluate the weather prior to the Race by viewing the course overview and tidal strategy video here: http://www.raymarine.co.uk/view/?id=7418.  Competitors can also sign up to the Raymarine website to receive free email weather updates prior to the Race here: http://www.raymarine.co.uk/RTIR2013/