This year's Royal Southampton YC's Island Double Race looks set for a bumper entry

Royal Southampton Yacht Club’s Double Handed series has seen a steady increase in numbers with 2004 looking to be a bumper year.

The Island Double, now in its 24th year, is the most popular race of the series. The 2004 race will start off Cowes around 0800 on Saturday 10 July, heading west via the Needles, St Catherine’s and Bembridge. Racing will be in IRC, Club handicap and multihull classes with additional classes and trophies for one designs, if sufficient entries allow.

A new monohull record was set last year by Noonmark VI, a Swan 56 sailed by Sir Geoff Mulcahy and Mike Gilbert in 6 hours 4 minutes and 51 seconds. The 1996 multihull record of 4 hours 44 minutes 29 seconds set by Martin Hutchings and Tim Hazel in the Firebird catamaran, Phoenix, remains unbeaten.

This year’s race will have a poignant edge with one of the competing boats sailing not once but twice round the Island in ‘The Island Double for David’

Popular businessman and yachtsman, David Knight, was tragically killed in a road accident last year and family friends are taking on this challenge to benefit his favourite charity, the RNLI. The crew have already raised several thousand pounds via by taking part in similar events.

For full details and entry form visit