The Round the Island Race 2023 saw a number of incidents with several dismastings, capsizes and knockdowns. Volvo 70 Tschuss 2 took overall victory

It was a wet and wild Round the Island Race, which saw Volvo 70 Tschuss 2 romping to a line honours win completing the course in in 4 hours, 11 minutes and 18 seconds and taking the Gold Roman Bowl for the handicap win too. However, the bigger story of the day was that of multiple incidents as the 1,100 competitors struggled with the wild conditions, particularly on the southern side of the island where the sea state was a significant factor.

All the events have yet to be officially reported but the coastguard were called to a number of incidents with the worst seeing a sailor reportedly lifted from a boat off St. Catherine’s Point on the south side of the island and taken by helicopter to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport. Yachting World currently does not have information on the extent of this injury.

There were also two reported multihull capsizes and a number of knockdowns which required assistance in addition to several boats which were dismasted during the course of the race. The wind was blowing between 20-25 knots for most of the day, which would not usually see quite so much damage in a race such as this, but the significant seas round the back of the island, coupled with gusty conditions where the key factors in the difficulties faces by some in the fleet.

Dave Atkinson, Race Director, said: “We were carefully monitoring the weather and knew it was going to be a challenge especially for the smaller and less experienced boats. The whole of the Race Team are incredibly proud of the determination of the competitors to complete the race but with a high regard for safety which is paramount for a race of this kind. A huge thanks to the support services of the RNLI, independent lifeboat crews and the Coastguard who worked closely with our team before and during the race.”

Tschuss 2 on their way to line honours and overall victory in the Round the Island Race

Windy and wavy weather will usually see the biggest, and fastest boats to the fore in the handicap standings as they take advantage of their size to make the most of the conditions, so it is not a surprise to see an ex-Volvo Ocean Race boat,  Tschuss 2 taking the win. Second overall was the GP42 Dark’n’Stormy, with the recently launched Carkeek 45, Ino Noir rounding out the podium positions.

Christian Zugel, owner and skipper of Tschuss 2 said: “We are delighted with our race performance today and securing line honours is fantastic – what better way to start a new programme on our new boat! Great sailing, great competition and a fantastic welcome from the Island Sailing Club.”

Tschuss 2 has been training for the last ten days on the Solent and a practice race around the Isle of Wight but they did it clockwise – like the original America’s Cup route in 1851.

The tactician onboard, Neal McDonald said: “I’ve competed in the race a number of times and can say it was perfect conditions for Tschuss 2 today. It’s such an iconic race in a wonderful setting.”

You can find the full results at the Round the Island Race website.

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