There are some very interesting and diverse entries in this year’s JPMAM Round The Island Race including a handful of high-tech speedsters, glamorous classics, boats entered by famous sailing families, and some Olympic stars. All are very keen to compete in this annual sporting institution.

One group of fast boats competing will be the GC32s but quite probably stealing much of the limelight from the GC32 class of six taking part in this year’s Race on Saturday 27th June – at least in speed terms – is the MOD 70 Concise 10 (FRA70), a 70ft trimaran at the cutting edge of one-design racing.

Team Concise will be made up 50/50 with the current Paprec MOD 70 crew, including Jean-Pierre Dick and Fabien Delhaye, who will be competing in the Jacques Vabre together later this year. They will be joined on board by Team Concise crew members Ned Collier Wakefield, Johnny Malbon, Paul Larsen, Martin Watts, and Tom Dawson who will form Team Concise going forward with the newly purchased boat.

The final line-up of GC32s competing in the culmination of their UK leg, and racing for the Cowes Cup as part of the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour is:

Argo (USA128) Team Argo is led by skipper Jason Carroll, twice the Melges 32 World Champion.

Armin Strom Sailing Team (SUI003) – Their skipper is the legendary Swiss Star Class sailor Flavio Marazzi 4 x Olympian in the Star Class and 6 x World Champion.

Spindrift (FRA11) – Skipper Yann Guichard explains why Spindrift
racing take part in the GC32 Racing Tour in 2015:
“It’s clear that the future of sailing is currently leaning towards these foiling boats, It’s not just in the America’s Cup – it’s happening with other contact racing boats too, such as the GC32. We are excited by the opportunity to learn to foil in a matter of weeks and to compete against the crème de la crème in what promises to be an ultra-competitive circuit.”
Sultanate of Oman (OMN1) – Skipper Leigh McMillan from the Isle of Wight, is joined on board by Nasser Al Mashari, Alister Richardson, Pete Greenhalgh all well honed in the art of Extreme 40 racing and fresh from the UK Act Cardiff.

Engie (FRA001) – For the 2015 season, Engie’s skipper Sébastien Rogues has selected a crew of committed and successful sailors such as Bertrand Castelnerac and Christophe Carbonnières, along with Sebastien Col.

Alinghi (SUI008) – The skipper Ernesto Bertarelli, now 49 years old, was hooked on sailing from a very young age. However, it was in 2000, he created Alinghi as a syndicate and team to achieve his dream of bringing the America’s Cup back to Europe for the first time. His team memorably won the Cup in 2003 in Auckland and then successfully defended it in 2007 in Valencia, with the event described as one of the most memorable in recent history.

After the 2010 Cup campaign, Bertarelli again focused his attention on his passion for one-design racing, winning the Bol d’Or for the 7th time in 2011, before taking the team into the X40 Extreme Sailing Series, which they won twice, most recently in 2014. His crew in Cowes is: Pierre-Yves Jorand – Mainsail; Nicolas Charbonnier -Tactician; Nils Frei – Trimmer; Yves Detrey – Bow.

There are very many entries with interesting stories behind them this year and the Race Media Team will be featuring some to follow for the RTI TV programme. Meanwhile, here’s a very small selection of some boats and people that are of interest or have some Island connection:
Annie of Orford (56), a Sadler Frigate 27, has been entered by James Muggoch from Middlesex. The boat is being sailed singlehanded across the Atlantic later this year to be donated to the Sea Scouts in Grenada, West Indies, together with a five year sustainability plan so the scouts can learn to sail, navigate and get jobs in the Marine Industry.

James owns ‘COB’ an ex-RN steam tug built in 1911 that led the historic tugs at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Parade, and which was moored in Cowes when James owned the Jewellers ‘Benzie of Cowes’ some years ago. Another claim to fame is that he also made and gifted the Mayoral Chain to the People of Cowes in 1998.

Firebrand (GBR612R) Jointly owned by yacht designer Ed Dubois and Esben Poulsson family & friends on board this winning boat. It’s an S&S design built by Lallows of Cowes for Admiral’s Cup in 1965. It was the winner of the Admiral’s Cup and the RTI in 1965. Family and friends on board this year include Adam Ostenfeld who competed in three America’s Cups (1980,1983,1987). Two wins, one loss!

Gazelle (GBR4899T), a Grand Soleil 34.3 owned by Mrs Minka Armitage from Cowes and being skippered this year by William Ball, who at 16 years old, says his mum regrettably can’t race this year so he’s in charge!