Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, an island situated off the south coast of England. The race regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.
Competitors come from all over the UK, other parts of Europe and as far away as the USA to follow the 50 nautical mile course round the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, the fleet races westabout, to The Needles, round St Catherine's Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.
Spectators can find many vantage points, both on the mainland and Isle of Wight, to watch the race progress. The first start in Cowes was at 6.30am in 2014, and you can find more information about where the boats are at different times during the day by clicking here. Those who cannot get to watch in person can always keep an eye on the race’s progress on the website, via our live text commentary and our boat tracking facility.
A great and landmark event and an enormous credit to the Island Sailing Club...the sheer professionalism of the management team is impressive
The race is a great opportunity to watch world-renowned sailors racing against families and first time racers. Although the majority of the fleet will take many hours to complete the race, the course records stand at 3h 43m 50s for a monohull boat, set by Mike Slade on ICAP Leopard in 2013, and 2h 52m 15s for a multihull boat, set by Sir Ben Ainslie on J.P. Morgan BAR also in 2013.
Over 60 prizes are awarded for the event and every boat completing the race receives a memento of the occasion.
Why do I enter the race? Because I always do! Just love the race. Has to be the greatest spectacle ever. Long may it last!
Whether you compete regularly or are new to the sport, taking part in the Round the Island Race is a day to remember, sailing in one of the world’s largest sailing events in some of the best sailing waters!