TV presenters to race sportsboat at next Saturday's Round the Island Race

Novice sailors competing in this year’s Round the Island Race, which takes place next Saturday, include Fran Beauman and Ania Dykczak, children’s television presenters from the programme ‘Bring It On’.

Their immediate challenge is to progress from complete beginners to race-ready in just five days. Neither has set foot in a boat before, but Fran and Ania will be picking up expert tips from round-the-world yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, who is keen to encourage children to go sailing.

Fran and Ania started their course at the Cowes-based United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) today under the tutelage of Chief Instructor Ben Willows, himself an 18 foot skiff competitor and regular contender in national events. Fran and Ania will start single-handed sailing in Picos, then progress to a Wayfarer dinghy.

For the race on Saturday however, they’ll be sailing “Ibis”, the Colgate 26 in the sportsboat division competing against Laser SB3s, Cork 1720s, Mumm 30s and Sonars. A camera team will be following Fran and Ania throughout the week and the TV programme is scheduled for broadcast in September.

The full entry list of over 1,500 boats is available on