Boat show kicks off with news about changes to JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 5/1/07

The Collins Stewart London International Boatshow kicked off at 1000 this morning at ExCel and one of the first announcements came from the Island SC announcing changes to the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

This year’s race which is scheduled for Saturday 23 June promises to be one of the best yet thanks to the continued support from JPMorgan Asset Management which has agreed to extend its title sponsorship until 2010 with an option to further extend until 2013.

One of the most significant changes will be the earlier start time of 0500 for the first fleet. Plus the organisers have reduced the length of the start sequence from 210 to 140 minutes, so providing there are no delays the last start will be 0640. This will hopefully give competitors at least three hours of fair tide to reach the Needles.

Campbell Fleming, Head of UK Business at JPMorgan Asset Management commented: “We are delighted to announce our continued sponsorship of world-class sailing in Britain. The Round the Island Race is the UK’s largest and most prestigious yachting event, and we look forward to building on the success of recent years whilst extending our successful working relationship with the Island Sailing Club.”

Another significant move this year is to expand its charitable dimension of the race by encouraging all entrants to make their race count for charity. To assist facilitate this a bespoke website has been set up. To register go to The chosen charities are: The Ellen MacArthur Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, Prostrate Research Campaign UK and Breast Cancer Care. The organisers did make it clear however, that competitors can, of course, race for a charity of their own choice.

In addition to expanding its title sponsorship, the company will also be sponsors of Ben Ainslie and Shirley Robertson, Britain’s two double Olympic gold medallists, for their Beijing 2008 Olympic campaigns. Shirley will be competing in the race and it is hoped that Ben is able to return from Valencia to compete alongside her and in doing so help raise money for the chosen charities.

There is currently no entry limit on the race but according to Peter Dixon – Island SC Commodore – the organisers will only really start getting concerned if entries reaches the 2,000 mark. Dixon concluded: “Last year we had 1,600 entries and in 1989 with had a record 1,813 boats, if we starting reaching those numbers and above there might be a problem and we’ll have to consider a restriction.”

For entry details log onto