The GC32s competing on the Solent for the Cowes Cup on the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. Photo: Sander van der Borch

By Peta Stuart-Hunt

Island Sailing Club

As the Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, the organisers of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, and a boat owner who regularly competes in the Race, Mark Wynter has taken part every year (bar one) since 1977 when he raced his first boat Carte Blanche amongst a then unprecedented 569 starters!

Since then he has raced Alchemist, his Dubois Half Tonner, and his best RTI result to date was in 1998 when they were 13th overall. This year in his new role as ISC Commodore, he will be on the RYS Platform watching his beloved boat on the start line with his skipper Andrew Talbot on the helm!

Mark says:

Year after year this unique race challenges all of us who are fortunate enough to compete regularly, and in so many different ways. The weather, the early starts, late finishes, fickle winds, tides, course obstacles, the vast numbers of boats, are all on the day’s exciting agenda and hundreds and hundreds keep coming back for more.

The Round the Island Race is truly a highlight in the yachting calendar for everyone involved, from its title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the family of Race Partners, to the masses of wonderful race volunteers and the Race management team. Most of all, it’s about inviting you to be a part of it.

It will take an hour and forty minutes to get this year’s fleet of 1,584 boats safely underway from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, Isle of Wight, for the start of the Race on Saturday. Eleven classes will set off between 0700 – 0840 in the 84th edition of the Race and the organisers are delighted that the inspirational Isle of Wight-based ‘sip & puff’ sailor Natasha Lambert BEM, is firing the first gun.

Ben Ainslie

Likely to attract much of the media attention is Prince de Bretagne, the 80ft Multihull prototype driven by Lionel Lemonchois. Also the MOD70 Concise 10 team including Ned Collier-Wakefield with Jean-Pierre Dick and Paul Larsen amongst other crew helping them to try and break the current multihull race record set by Ben Ainslie on 1st June 2013.

He was on J.P. Morgan BAR, an AC45 and stole the show setting the record at 2.52.15 beating, by an impressive 16 minutes, the previous multihull race record set by Francis Joyon in 2001 aboard Dexia Eure et Loire of 3.08.29.

Irrespective of setting records, and barring any problems, one of the multihulls is certain to take line honours but they will be chased hard by the five GC32s that are racing as part of the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.

Mike Slade, Leopard

In the Monohulls, look out for the 100ft Farr Leopard, with owner Mike Slade on the wheel who already holds the monohull race record on 1st June 2013, standing at 3.43.50.

This is 9 minutes and 45 seconds inside ICAP Leopard’s own race record set back in 2008.

The Race is also delighted to welcome an equestrian Olympic star and medallist Mary King, joining a crew for her first-ever Round the Island Race.

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