The Round the Island Race is not just a compelling spectacle, but is a racetrack with wind shadows, tidal eddies, rocks, wrecks and sandbanks to contend with, writes Peter Bruce

Osborne Bay

This is a great anchorage for lunch, because it offers good shelter – exactly the reasons you should avoid it when racing, particularly in a light west/southwest wind. The area of calmer winds can extend quite a way to the east (further in the lighter winds).

However, there are two reasons to carefully route around the edge of this calm zone. Firstly if the tide is against you, and secondly in the prevailing southwesterly wind, the wind bends around Old Castle Point, generating gains for the sailor that heads for the inside of the bend.


Norris Castle is one of the last landmarks you’ll pass during the Round the Island Race. Photo: Guido Cantini / Panerai

Norris Rocks

As you route around Old Castle Point, beware Norris Rocks if you are close into the coast. They cover an area about 30m wide, extending about 80m out from the western part of the gap in the trees, on the shoreline next to Norris Castle itself. Watch out for the Shrape sandbar that extends south off East Cowes just prior to the finish.

Read the sailing instructions

Highlight your finish line and declaration procedure if you are not joining the party in Cowes on Saturday evening. Have a safe and enjoyable race!

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. The Needles
  3. 3. Chale Bay
  4. 4. Sandown Bay
  5. 5. Osborne Bay
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