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RNLI ready for Round the Island Race

Wed 29 May 2013

RNLI ready for Round the Island Race

Seafarers will be in their element this weekend as a world famous race sets sail from the Isle of Wight.

On 1st June, the JP Morgan Asset Management's Round the Island Race will launch, with 1,700 yachts all competing for over 60 prizes.

The all-day yacht race attracts 16,000 sailors from all over Europe and even as far away as the USA. It is the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs, offering a fantastic seaside spectacle.

Viewers will be led on a nail biting journey around the island. The race begins at the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, round to The Needles, up to St Catherine's Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back to the finish line at Cowes.

It's free to watch. Viewpoints will let you see the exciting 50 nautical mile challenge firsthand. If you're an early bird you can catch the first sailors take their marks, with a 5am start.

The race has come along way. Started in 1931 by Major Cyril Windeler with the Island Sailing Club, the first race had only 25 boats. Since then, the challenge has grown and grown with new records regularly broken. In 2001, Francis Joyon burst through milestones, completing the course in an amazing three hours, eight minutes and 29 seconds.

Many people use the race as the perfect chance to raise money for charity and over the past four years, £450,000 has been made for good causes.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat will be patrolling the waters from 4:30am to 5pm, making sure all is shipshape.

Mark Southwell, lifeboat operations manager at Cowes, is looking forward to the event and has plans to make sure his crew "is fresh to perform to the highest standard" throughout the day.

2013 sees the 82nd anniversary of the race and attracts many life-long yachters and landlubbers alike.

Check out this chance to see some world-class sailors and rediscover your love of the sea. ADNFCR-3083-ID-801591767-ADNFCR

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