The Round the Island Race (I-O-W) is sailing’s answer to the London Marathon as 1600 boats or more, crewed by some of the biggest names in sailing vie for the famous "Gold Roman Bowl".
For most of us keen amateur sailors though, it is just a great day out and a wonderful spectacle to behold. Oh, and there's always the possibility of doing well in your class and claiming an official prize. The BOA also puts up (privately between ourselves) the BOA Challenge Cup for the fastest member's Beneteau, so there's all to play for.
Divided into classes, the first start for the 2018 race is at 6.30am (the fast boys& girls) and the last start is around 7.10am. The boats pass round the Needles Lighthouse, along the south-west coast of the Island to St. Catherine's Point and then up across Sandown Bay to round the Bembridge Ledge Buoy. The fleet then makes its way either side of No Man's Land Fort and across Osborne Bay to the finish line back at Cowes. A total distance of around 53nm on all points of the wind. An energetic & great day out. As always, local knowledge of the tides & back-eddies can be a great help in creeping up the fleet...!
Like a lot of others, I have done it many times, on 4 different Beneteaus as well as my own several times. A very satisfying day out with great celebrations afterwards on your mooring, or in the wonderful Island Sailing Club in Cowes who always organise the whole thing.
BOA Member Kuba Szymanski firstname.lastname@example.org has kindly volunteered to coordinate the BOA Challenge Cup part this year so, as they say, "Be in it to win it"....
Bryan Hughes Editor, EAU!