Round the Island Race 2011

Southerly 42RST - "Isabel"

Southerly 110, ‘Aurora’, skippered by Andrew Scott Brown

Saturday 25th June was dominated by the weather which threw everything it had to offer at the record-breaking fleet of over 1900 yachts that competed in the 80th Anniversary of Round the Island Race.

Some 16,000 sailors faced wind speeds of up to 28 knots and there were huge swells to contend with off the Needles and at St. Catherine’s as the fleet undertook the famous 50 nautical mile westward Island circumnavigation. A number of incidents including ‘Man Overboard’, capsizes and mast dismantlings were reported.

Southerly 42RST ‘Isabel’ wins 3rd place again

From being completely new to sailing last year, Phil Wilson entered Round The Island Race 2010, in his Southerly 42RST and came 3rd in his class. This year, surprisingly, Phil won 3rd place in class again.

Phil comments ‘’Compared to last year’s tranquil start, the contrast couldn’t have been more different. With an angry 20-30 knots on the nose for our westward beat to Hurst Narrows, and with two reefs in the main and all of our self tacking jib, the 42 was in its element, even through the 25ft swell round the Needles.  Changing course eastwards to St. Catherine’s, the full main was deployed and keel partially retracted for an exhilarating downwind surf. We noticed how very few spinnakers were deployed. The VHF was permanently occupied with MOB’s, broken masts and capsize events, meanwhile we were enjoying hot meals and drinks, courtesy of Paul (he with a cast iron constitution). In the lee of the island, it seemed to get a little less breezy past Ryde Sands where we took advantage of our lifting keel insurance policy and kept in the shallows from the strongest adverse tides, to finish off in Cowes in a little over 8 hours. A 20 minute improvement on last year ! We were surprised to hear of so much carnage and retirements because this little 42 took it all in its stride... No drama!