Sir BenCalling all those keen on sailing. Entries for the 2014 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, taking place on 21st June opened on Friday 3rd January with the Notice of Race being simultaneously published online.

With a fleet comprising in excess of 1,500 yachts and 16,000 sailors, the annual one-day J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is firmly established as one of the top sailing events. For those living on the Island just the spectacle of seeing all the yachts sailing around the island is really something especially on a hot and breezy summer day, but why not take part.

Members of Girlguiding are being encouraged to take part in water sports and there is the chance for members, after some considerable training, to take part in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race. This year’s JPMAM Round the Island Race could be just the beginning of the adventure.

As the 4th largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs, the Round the Island Race can certainly be an adventure for some. Racing can last many hours depending on wind, tides and seamanship but in 2013 record-breaker Sir Ben Ainslie started his race at 5am and was back in time for an early breakfast!
Every year the Race welcomes many new participants – old and young, male and female, amateur and professional – who want to challenge themselves and undertake this extraordinary 50 nautical mile adventure that starts and ends off Cowes.

The Island Sailing Club organises, hosts and manages the Race, and the Club’s Commodore, John Dudley, sums up why he thinks this race means so much to so many:”I am proud to be Commodore of the Club that runs this iconic event; a race where Cruisers and Racers alike are matched up against some of the leading sailors in the World making it a “Race for All”.

If you are thinking of entering the 2014 Race and haven’t competed before, there is a wealth of information, including a series of practical preparation videos, available on the Race website.
There is also a Forum on which you can post ‘Crew available’ or ‘Crew wanted’ notices.

This race has J.P. Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) as a Title Sponsor and Race Partners for 2014 are: Dream Yacht Charter, Haven Knox-Johnston, Henri Lloyd, Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney Whisky, Raymarine, Red Funnel and Volvo Car UK.

Even if you are not competing but are just interested in the event and want to see all the action several of these companies have stands and information in the ‘Race Village’ which is situated in Cowes Yacht Haven for the duration of the Round The Island weekend.

After his record breaking feat in the 2013 race, later in the day, Sir Ben Ainslie was only too pleased to sign copies of his book and posters on the Henri Lloyd stand in the Race Village. One of the largest queues of the day formed, with keen visitors to ‘Race Village’ eager to obtain a memento of the day.
Across from this stand there was a steady stream of visitors seeking out a free taste of Old Pulteney Whisky. Based in Wick in the Scottish Highlands this Whisky has been awarded the title of ‘World Whisky of the Year 2012’ for their 21 year old edition from 4,500 contenders. As a sponsor of the race, trophy winners were presented with a bottle of the 12 year old and tastes were on hand for members of the public and sailors alike.
There were competitions and fun and games for children also in the ‘Race Village’ making the event a great day out for all the family. For the 2014 event there should be even more events for the general public to take part in as the organisers of ‘The Festival of the Sea’ plan to run their festival at the same time as the race.