Local schools get in training with Olympic double gold medallist for Round the Island Race

The five ‘Make Your Mark’ teams of students, sponsored by the Isle of Wight Economic Partnership (IWEP) and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) to compete in the 2005 ‘JP Morgan Fleming Round the Island Race’, will be training with the professionals including double Olympic gold sailing medallist, Shirley Robertson OBE, on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June in preparation for the big race on 18 June.

The training weekend – organised by IWEP and SEEDA who are also coordinating the race – is designed to develop each of the team’s existing skills as well as teaching them new ones and will also focus on team building exercises. Specialists in the areas of sailing, weather, navigation and photography including Shirley Robertson and photographer, Rick Tomlinson will be on hand to offer support and advice throughout the weekend.

Shirley says: “The Round the Island race is so much more than just another sailing event. It’s a celebration of the Isle of Wight, of sailing, and the nearest thing sailing has to the London marathon with 1,600 boats and over 10,000 competitors. When you get to the Needles and there are boats of all sizes as far as the eye can see, it is a true spectacle, there’s no other race of its kind in the UK.”

The schools involved in the project – Carisbrooke High School, Cowes High School, Medina High School, Ryde High School and Sandown High School – have selected students who demonstrated the capabilities needed to sail in the race and each of them have been assigned a role with responsibilities for logistics, safety and VHF radio, weather and navigation and an overall team leader. In addition, four team members have been assigned to the shoreside support roles for team marketing, PR and sponsorship, team photography, support boat driver and team cameraman.

Training events

  • 4 and 5 June – Sail training with Shirley Robertson

  • 4 and 5 June – Powerboat Level 2 course

  • 4 June – Photography workshop with Rick Tomlinson

  • 4 June – Weather/tide workshop

  • Video workshop