Peta Stuart-Hunt highlights some of the latest entries into this year’s 80th Anniversary Race taking place on Saturday 25th June
Could ROSENN, a Solent One-design built in 1896 and co-owned by Bob Fisher and Barry Dunning, be the second oldest boat entered in this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race? We think this 115 year-old beauty (built in 1896) might be the runner-up to our oldest racer, the Itchen Ferry Nellie built in 1862. ROSENN first competed in the Race in 1968 and has entered 25 times.
Shane Michael Stratford finished restoring DRAMBUSTER, a classic Bill Lapworth-designed Cal T4 back in 2005 after two years hard labour. We can’t find out much about the boat other than that she is known for crossing the Atlantic from Nova Scotia, Canada to Swanage, Dorset in August 1995 with the Rev Angus Mackinnon at the helm. However there is plenty to be said about the boat’s designer Bill Lapworth. William “Bill” Lapworth was perhaps the foremost West Coast Naval Architect in the post World War II period.
He designed a series of light displacement racing sailboats that began to win or place highly on the East and West Coasts of the USA, beginning with Flying Scotsman and Nalu II, 46′ — a four time Class C Transpac race winner and first overall in 1959. Next came the 50′ sloop Ichiban, second overall in the 1961 Transpac. By 1958, more than 70 of the wooden L-36′ sloops had been built; but by then fibreglass was becoming the material of choice.
All this attracted the attention of boat builder Jack Jensen who one day walked in to Lapworth’s office and, with a handshake, formed one of the most successful relationships in yachting history. The first boat was a 24-footer that Jensen wanted to call the Lapworth 24. But Lapworth felt that since he had previously designed a 24-footer for someone else, a new name was required. According to Lapworth, this is when they decided on the name ‘Cal’ boats.
Jobs for the boys
This Race attracts lots of fascinating people with some really interesting jobs. For example, RETRIBUTION is a newly purchased Sigma 33 owned and skippered by Alan Penman from Kempsford in Gloucestershire. He is a freelance lecturer in ‘Purchasing & Supply Chain Management’ and one of his crew is a Nuclear Physicist for the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), a public authority that I for one, had never even heard of. It’s first time out in the Round the Island Race for Alan and his boat and we wish him well.
Phil Condit is a former Chairman and CEO of the Boeing Company and retired in 2004. His home town is Seattle, Washington. Phil is skippering his Dufour 365 Grande Large Aurora 365. His choice of Aurora as the name for his yacht could be down to it meaning a natural light display in the sky or, possibly, she’s named after the less well-known Aurora, a rumored mid-1980s United States reconnaissance aircraft ! There is no substantial evidence that it was ever built, let alone flown and it has been termed a myth but what a fascinating thought! Condit’s career spanned more than 35 years of service to Boeing in almost 20 different assignments.
Seatrack is quite sensibly the name of the HOD 35 owned and skippered by Peter Scholfield who manages Seatrack Limited, a company that has been developing navigation software systems for racing and cruising yachts since 1985. Peter is well known as a successful and highly experienced navigator and tactician who has campaigned in many national and international competitions over his long sailing career including four Admiral’s Cup events, 51 Cowes Weeks and 17 Fastnet Races. He has also achieved 14 years of racing in the Round the Island Race with his best ever result being first in his division.
There’s a couple of female entries that captured my attention amongst the increasingly large entry wodges that come through to me in their plain brown envelopes from the Island Sailing Club entries team. Seaquill is a 1973 Hurley 24/70, owned and skippered by Sophia Richards from Gravesend in Kent. This is her second year racing Seaquill in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Sophia clearly loves and knows her trusty yacht intimately. She lived on her for a year.
We’re also delighted to welcome Susie Best to the Race start line for the first time, aboard her Westerly GK24 Nixie.
Grey hairs rule the waves or is it divine intervention?
Barti Blue is a Beneteau Oceanis 43 owned by Michael and Virginia Boyle from Teddington, Middlesex. Skipper Michael, who has been sailing for 40 years, says that it is used as their cottage in the Solent and he notes under ‘Other Details’ on the Media Form that ‘grey hairs rule the waves’. This is backed up by the further news that one couple on board, the Millers, are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary racing around the Isle of Wight rather than staying at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons! As with so many of our competitors, there’s real dedication to the cause.
Trevor David Clifton, from Portsmouth, is aged 70 and is skippering his 1973-built Holman and Pye Twister sloop Cracklin’ Rosie. He recently sailed her singlehanded to Cape Horn and back. For his fourth Round the Island Race, Trevor is clearly hoping for some divine intervention to improve on his previous Race results having drafted in his three sons, Luke, Matthew and John.
Describing himself as a ‘mature sailor’, Joe Cronk built his Carole (Chuck Paine design), Juno Lucina, in 1988 in Cowes. He sold her and then bought her back in 2005. Joe first entered the Round the Island Race in 2008 but first raced it in 1957 on a RORC gaff-rigged club boat called Old Griffin. He and his family are hoping to improve on their current best result of 50th.
Another septuagenarian is Tony Brookes racing the amusingly named Beneteau 260, It’s now or never. Mind you, he has entered nine RTI Races and has scored two wins and a second in different boats. His ‘main man’ is Stephen Bailey who has crewed since the age of 16 and has sailed with Tony in the Merlin Rockets micro ton class and on a Beneteau 210 when class winners in the RTI.
A warm welcome to some more first timers
Koto and owner/skipper Jeremy Rowley are racing with family and friends on board this Dufour 35 Classic. Jeremy’s a Yachtmaster and been sailing since he was nine.
Andy Robb has entered his Seawolf 26 Imagine. As well as being his first time in this Race, he’s sailing with a novice crew and they are apparently “scared about tipping over and putting up the kite.” Hmmm, it could be a long day!
Enjoying life to the full again after falling victim to cancer in 2000, Cees Vermijmeren from Noord Brabant in the Netherlands, has been sailing for 20 years but this is also a first RTI for him and his yacht Farouche, a Jeanneau Sunfast 32.
Voyageur is a Bavaria 36 built in 2004 and owned and skippered by Tonny van den Broek who lives in Blackheath, London. Tonny is an ex-Merchant Navy Deck Officer who now teaches English.
A Twister Mk 1 named Brigand Chief is the racing platform for Nick Roe and his friends in Nick’s first time out in this Race.
Cool Runnings, skippered by the wonderfully named Horratio Goodden (aka Trog), has been chartered by a family entering their first RTI Race. They may be novices but Trog knows this race course backwards having completed 15 RTI circumnavigations and skippering boats since the age of 12.
One last first timer mention in this report for High Tar, a Hunter Sonata being skippered by Andrew Rudd who has plenty of experience sailing on the East coast but has never done this Race before. He is sailing with friends that have never done it either!
No tears please for Glass Onion Shallot
Having just officially commenced celebrating our 80th Anniversary Race year with the launch of the delightful ‘Round the Island in 80 years Exhibition’ during which we hosted so many past Gold Roman Bowl (GRB) winners, I was pleased to see that one of our previous GBR winners, the yacht designer Julian Everitt, is racing on board Shallot. She is skippered by Michael ‘Chalky’ White and also crewed by yacht builder Eric Reynolds, who built Julian’s designs under the Evolution Yachts banner back in the 70s. Shallot is a previous winner of the Rose Bowl.
The rip-roaring story of Julian’s Gold Roman Bowl-winning race aboard the mini-tonner Glass Onion in 1982, dedicated to her female skipper Julia Dane who sadly died three years ago, won the Island Sailing Club’s ‘history @’ competition, and it’s available to read on the Race website. Julian has won a bottle of Old Pulteney Scotch Whisky.
Music to the ears for free entry winner
A free entry into this year’s Race, courtesy of the Island Sailing Club, has been awarded to Norman Macey for his image that shows a large fleet of yachts racing in close company after rounding Bembridge Ledge Buoy, which can (just) be seen between the yachts.
Norman observed, “It was taken from the yacht Rhapsody, a MGC 27, owned for about 20 years by Roy Pearce who competed in a number of Round the Island Races. Sadly, Roy died of a heart attack last December but had raced his new boat Symphony, an Elan 340, and was looking forward to another good sailing season this year. Hopefully, we may be sailing Symphony in the Round the Island Race this year in his memory.”
Congratulations Norman and we look forward to welcoming you and the crew of Symphony on the 80th Anniversary Race start line.
Standard entries to this 80th Anniversary Race close on 28th May. http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk