The Round the Island Race count down commences

The Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay, takes place on 1 July.
As organisers at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes count down the days, the Rear Commodore Sailing and head of Race Management Dave Atkinson, is hoping for a late surge in entry numbers to record a final number on par with last year at around the 1,500 mark. Entries currently stand at 1,150.
 
Standard entries close on 17 June at 23.59 and late entries at midday on 28 June.

If you haven’t already done so, you can enter here: rtir.me/entries
The race will be using its popular Twitter @roundtheisland feed as a quick and succinct method for reporting on the starts and early finishers this year and the Twitter feed will sit alongside RTI TV, the Tracking and the Blog on the home page of the website. Competitors, spectators and virtual fans should tag @roundtheisland and use the hashtag #raceforall & #comesailaway if posting on social media platforms.
Q&A with Dave Atkinson:
 
What is it about this race that highlights it as an annual must-do for so many?
“The Round the Island race is one of the iconic sailing events in the annual calendar attracting a broad range of sailing abilities and personalities. There are a large number of prizes and, in addition, there are always groups of friends competing against each other in friendly competition and always a carnival atmosphere but with a serious side to things.”
 
What’s the appeal for people who don’t usually race?
“It’s a chance to sail in company outside of the Solent in friendly competition. The Island Sailing Club has its own handicap system (ISCRS), which is a free system to entrants, which allows those who don’t normally race to be rated to take part.”
 
What’s the main challenge in organising such a large event?
“The biggest concern is always the safety of our competitors; everything we do is gauged against the safety factors of the race. Obviously with upwards of 1,500 boats and circa 12,000 competitors on the water it somewhat focuses the mind on the day. It takes a team of nearly 200 volunteers to run the race with a large number on the water so they equally need to be thought of and considered in the mix. Every year we face different challenges but, given the experience of those running the day and the support we have from the authorities, we aim to deliver an enjoyable day for all those taking part.”