Peta Stuart-Hunt writes:
Entries have closed at a very respectable 1,533 for the 2016 Round the Island Race.
The oldest boat competing in this year’s Race is almost certain to be Thalia (Sail #11). Built in 1888, she was one of the last yachts by George Wanhill of Poole who was boatbuilding from the 1850s onwards.
There will be two boats by the name of Thalia in the race, with the boat pictured above bought by David Aisher in 2010 and refitted at the Elephant Boatyard in Hamble where a new mast was fitted with new standing and running rigging and sails. She was also re ballasted, rewired and replumbed.
David’s Thalia won’t easily be mistaken for another Thalia racing again this year; a Hanse 385 built in 2012. She is owned by Andrew Banks and there are five members of the family on board ranging from his 91 year-old father Ken down to his two sons aged 21 and 19.
Regular visitor to Cowes,a veritable powerhouse of racing experience and RTI know-how is the seemingly invincible Jock Wishart who describes himself as “Adventurer/America’s Cup/Past Holder Round the World Powered Record/Rowed to North Pole/Winner Queens Cup Thames A- Raters”. His 2015 JPK 10.80 boat Shaitan is entered for theBrewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup as part of the Celtic Team as well as for this year’s RTI.
Girls for Sail have entered two boats this year with all-female crews, many of whom have never raced before – and in some cases, have never even sailed before. Hot Stuff, a Beneteau 40.7 and Diamonds are Forever, an Elan 37 are competing.
Competitors are invited to the Island Sailing Club at 18:00 on Friday 1st July, for the Raymarine Weather Briefing, presented by Chris Tibbs, a professional meteorologist and Met Office-trained, Chris will share his tactical advice, giving competitors the latest weather and tidal information.