Safety first for 1,600 boats taking part in this year's race

Safety is a high priority for the race management team from the Island Sailing Club (ISC), Cowes, organisers of this year’s Round the Island Race held on26 June 2004.

This year classes start from 6am and some 1,600 boats are expected to take part. With such a huge number of entries a personal briefing for all skippers impossible. Instead, the ISC publishes a Safety Booklet included with the Sailing Instructions for each competitor.

The Safety Booklent covers the whole race, from waiting in a safe area before the start to avoiding the Shrape mud bank just before the finish. The ISC also holds a shore telephone contact number for every yacht whilst ISC volunteers are on watch afloat and at vantage points to report any problems.

Racing in an area with heavy commercial traffic, the Chief Race Officer has constant consultation with a professional pilot throughout the event as well as with Captain Stuart McIntosh, the Cowes Harbour Master.

The precise forward planning carried out each year by the ISC does much to ensure the race proceeds smoothly. Ultimately, of course, safety is the responsibility of those taking part.