The race will allow boats which are too small to safely participate in the annual circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight to join in the excitement of the Round the Island Race weekend. Entries open on 1st March 2020.
Instead of sailing the full 50-mile course of the main race, boats from the Daring, Dragon, Etchells, Flying Fifteen, Mermaid, Redwing, Swallow, Sonar, Squib, RS Elite and XOD classes will compete in a ‘Round the Solent’ race for the new Windeler Cup. The race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line off Cowes, immediately after the main Round the Island fleet is underway, and will follow a course around the Western Solent, taking advantage of favourable tides to finish back on the RYS line in Cowes.
The race has been named the ‘Windeler Cup’ after Major Cyril Windeler, who created the Round the Island Race in 1931 as an opportunity for owners of smaller yachts to enjoy a ‘bigger than usual’ competition. It is in this spirit that the Island Sailing Club has introduced the new race and addressed the desires of smaller keelboats who would like to take part in the main race.
Rob Peace, the Island Sailing Club’s Rear Commodore of Sailing said:
“We are often asked whether some smaller keelboat classes could once again participate in the Round the Island Race, as they did in the past. Unfortunately, with today’s stringent safety restrictions, we’re not able to accommodate these classes. However, we have come up with the idea of a new race, starting at 0830 hours after the last Round the Island start, that will allow the smaller keelboat classes to sail for their own prestigious trophy on a shorter course around the Western Solent.
“We’ve spoken to many owners in the respective classes about the concept and had a huge level of interest. We’re therefore very excited at the prospect of running the WIndeler Cup in 2020 and welcoming the whole fleet back to the Island Sailing Club Race Village in Cowes after they finish, to join in the race-day celebrations!”
Visit roundtheisland.org.uk to register for the 2020 race from 1st March 2020.