Over 1,600 entries sign up for RTIR including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Ellen McArthur 1/6/06
Entries have now closed for this year’s JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race and over 1,600 boats are expected on the start line this coming Saturday 3 June. Amongst those enjoying the race will be Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
In 1969 Robin was the first person to sail solo, non-stop round the world. This was in the ketch Suhaili which he built himself in India. Following an extensive refit, Suhaili has competed in the last two Round the Island races but this year Robin returns in quite a different craft. With the intention of competing in the Velux 5 Oceans Race starting in October 2006, he has acquired the Finot-designed Open 60 Grey Power, formerly Fila. Having brought the boat from France to Gosport a few days ago, he felt that the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race presented an excellent opportunity to try out the new boat in racing conditions. Grey Power will be lining up beside Hans Bouscholte’s Bou and Mike Golding’s Ecover as the Open 60 class start is signalled at 6am.
Sir Robin commented: “The Round the Island Race is one of those events you have to do if you are in the UK at the time. This will be my 7th and I am looking forward to a good work up for Grey Power against other boats, so I can decide what needs to be done in the re-fit, in preparation for the Velux 5 OCEANS race.”
Ellen MacArthur has recently returned from Asia where B&Q has been establishing new sailing records on the ground-breaking Asian Record Circuit. Ellen is the current holder of the non-stop, round-the-world, solo record. Whilst 37 years ago Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili took 310 days to finish the epic voyage, technology has now marched on and B&Q completed the challenge in just 71 days. As the trimaran B&Q is currently being shipped back from Asia, Ellen will join the crew onboard one of the top-rated monohulls, Chernikeef 2 (Farr 52), as a guest of JPMorgan Asset Management, with skipper Andy Beadsworth.
Ellen commented: “The Round the Island Race is a fantastic opportunity to bring together so many boats of all classes and sailors of all abilities – from classic yachts through to state-of-the-art racing machines, such as the 60-foot monohull and multihulls. It is rare to see such a large gathering of boats competing alongside each other, which makes for a fantastic atmosphere both on and off the water. I have competed in this race on four occasions now and know it is a very special race for everyone who takes part. The 75th anniversary of the Round the Island Race will I’m sure be another exceptional event and the fact that The Ellen MacArthur Trust is one of the nominated charities to benefit from this race makes it an extra special event.”