Photo: Graham Reading Photography


The Royal Ocean Racing Club is expecting in excess of 100 entries for this year’s ‘Race the Wight’, scheduled to start on Saturday 1st August.

Race the Wight will be the first of a 4-race RORC mini-series during August and September.

All entry fees from next month’s event will be donated to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and the Scaramouche Sailing Trust.

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IRC Classes for the 50 nautical mile race around the Isle of Wight are still to be confirmed. However, early entries indicate a fleet full of champions with any number of potential victors.

RORC Vice Commodore James Neville racing his HH42 Ino XXX and Ian Atkins’ Melges IC37 Icy are favourites for monohull line honours. The overall winner of the Race the Wight will be decided by time correction using the IRC Rating System.

In big upwind conditions Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy’s Swan 56 Noonmark IV, skippered by Mike Gilburt, will be a force to be reckoned with. Given the crew limitations and favoured wind conditions, Greg Leonard‘s Class40 Kite (Prev. Maxime Sorel’s V and B, winner 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race) should blast round the island.

James says:

“We are looking forward to it. It’s been completely frustrating to have missed racing.

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“We have been modifying the boat over the winter and part of this race will be to test and learn what can be done. The race will give us the experience to move on to the next steps in terms of how we can race the boat given the current restrictions. We have had one training session and it is certainly all on when we gybe. However personally, I wouldn’t go out if we were unable to use spinnakers because it is important to get the boat lit up. We will be racing with six and be taking all the necessary precautions.”

Full details in the Notice of Race can be found in the Notice of Race but in summary: permitted crew can be up to a maximum of 6 people from any household or two-thirds of a boat’s IRC crew number whichever is the least. Competitors are also reminded of the government guidance on social distancing and other COVID-19 measures.

For more information, including online entry, visit

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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1 year ago

Fantastic news! and terrific causes will benefit! Hoorah!

Lady Longdown Dunne-Standing
Lady Longdown Dunne-Standing
1 year ago

An activity which is actually good for the Isle of Wight. Historically and to-day… I am pleased. As regards the whole social distances thingy: sailors have to be close and literally rub along. Mostly ’tis families and close mates in Boris bubbles anyway, so no problem. ‘Be nice to see some boats again. Far better than loads of aeroplanes and cars pumping out fumes!

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