The Round the Island Race
One of the biggest yacht races in the world, the Round the Island Race is a one-day event attracting around 1,600 yachts and up to 15,000 sailors, which also makes it one of the biggest participation sport events in the UK. The race itself is a complete circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight.
Competitors come from the UK and Europe as well as the USA and beyond to race the 50 nautical miles around the Isle of Wight. Starting from Cowes, the fleet races to The Needles and around St Catherine’s Point to Bembridge returning to the Solent and the finish line at Cowes.
There are many vantage points on the shore to watch the race but you need to get up early as the first yachts set off from Cowes at 6am reaching Fort Victoria by around 8am and rounding the Needles between 8 and 10am – depending on the direction and strength of the wind.
If you want to get a lot closer to the action on the water a Rib charter is your best option. Because of their speed, Ribs provide the flexibility to make the best of the day. You can watch the race starts at the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes and then follow the fleet along the Solent to the Needles and beyond, with forays ashore for breakfast and lunch before returning to the finish line at Cowes.
The 2018 race takes place on 7 July – for more information see the Round the Island Race website – www.roundtheisland.org.uk