A massive entry is expected at this Sunday's Round the Isle of Sheppey Race

This Sunday (1 September) marks the 44th anniversary of Sheppey Yacht Club’s Round the Isle of Sheppey race.

The event is open to all dinghies, catamarans and sailboards, and is the longest distance and duration race for dinghies and boards in the UK. The course is between 30 and 40 miles (50-65km), depending on wind and tide, and all types of sailing conditions are involved – including sea, estuary and river.

The race starts at Sheppey Yacht Club, Marine Parade, Sheerness, Kent, with four staggered starts for dinghies, boards, and multihulls between 1030 and 1200. Due to tidal conditions, there will be a committee boat start.

The course is a clockwise circumnavigation of the Isle of Sheppey, firstly by sea to Leysdown and around the north-east tip of the Island, Shellness, and then into the Swale estuary. The Swale gradually narrows, into the river, with the lifting road bridge at Kingsferry acting as an obstacle at its narrowest point. Larger dinghies and multihulls have to be stopped, heeled over and walked under the inner span of the bridge. The course then continues up the Swale, through the ancient port of Queenborough and into the mouth of the Medway, before finally rounding Garrison Point to the open sea and the short distance back to the Yacht Club.

Typical passage times range from 3-10 hours or longer dependent upon weather and yardstick rating. Several landing points are available for those boats or boards wishing to retire.

All competitors who successfully complete the course are presented with a circumnavigation certificate, and a wide range of trophies are presented for dinghies, multihulls and sailboards.

Entry forms and comprehensive information about the race can be downloaded from the event website at www.IOSrace.com.