JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Laser SB3 Round the Island Race 2008
Big wind, big waves, sun and 2 hours of sailing downwind, fast! There is almost nothing else to say about the Round the Island Race, sailed on 28th June 2008.
The fleet of 15 SB3s started at 0620 with the rest of the flight that contained, J80s, Melges 24s, 1720, and Sunsail 32s. After a beat with the tide all the way to the Needles the SB3 fleet was relatively tight, with the top 5 boats all round the Needles lighthouse within a couple of minutes of each other. eDigitalResearch took the lead at the first mark, by sailing between goose rock and the boilers with their finger crossed they had got it right, followed offshore by Sacre Bleu and Rumbleflurg, with Racing Snake and The Rat Pack completing the top 5.
The fun then began. The kites went up and the SB3 fleet began to weave their way through all the other slower boats. Rumbleflurg took the lead with clear air slightly offshore, with Sacre Bleu taking the inshore route out of the tide. eDigitalResearch once they had found their way through some of the other fleets headed offshore as well. The sun came out, the breeze was blowing 20-25 knots, a large swell had developed with the wind fighting the tide and there was 30 miles to sail to Bembridge Ledge buoy. There was no other boat that overtook the SB3s with their kites up all the way round the south side of the island, with the leading pack catching Melges 24s, and J80s by the end of the run. Rumbleflurg looked to be establishing a solid lead at the front of the fleet until they had gear failure before St.Catherine’s and without another kite were out of the running. eDigitalResearch took the lead and never looked back as the call to head offshore after St.Catherine’s enabled them to establish a strong lead.
Around Bembridge Ledge the chasing fleet was led by Sacre Bleu, but with VHR, Racing Snake, Pelican Consulting and The Rat Pack all close together as the entire fleet headed up the Island shore out of the tide and into the wind. Having to avoid all the other larger boats that were once again overtaking the small SBs upwind proved the deciding factor up the final leg of the course. The breeze held all the way to the finish, despite fun and nerves as the leaders sailed through the ‘Norris hole’. eDigitalResearch took the gun with a time of 7 hours 23 minutes (it wasn’t a record for an SB3 going round), with Pelican Consulting climbing to second up the final third of the beat, and Racing Snake in third, Sacre Bleu were the ones to lose out up the final beat to move into fourth, and The Rat Pack in 5th.
It was a great day on the water and an amazing advert for the SB3 that never felt dwarfed by the big seas and large breeze as they all powered through. There were a few beers in Cowes on the Friday night and a few more sore heads on the Sunday.