Island born sailor Leigh McMillan took time out from his Extreme 40 Series campaign to compete in the JPMAM Round the Island Race.
In fact, after the last Act of the Extreme Series in Cardiff, Leigh has spent some time on the Island competing in the GC32 Class championship which has been held off Cowes. He was joined on the GC 32 boat ‘Sultanate of Oman’ by Sarah Ayton OBE who races with him in the Extreme 40s boat ‘The Wave, Muscat.’
Having raced around the Island before, in a time of 3.5 hours, Leigh said, before the Round the Island Race, that Sir Ben Ainslie’s record of 2:52:15 was achievable.
Also before the race Chris Tibbs, the official meteorologist said there was the potential for record times as he predicted sunshine and a good breeze. He cautioned that the chance for record beating though was no better than 50/50.
Olympic hopefuls Giles Scott and Hannah Mills sailed aboard the JPMAM Rosalba an IMOCA 60. As well as being Ben Ainslie’s successor in the Finn Class for the Olympics Giles is a key member of Ben’s British bid for the America’s Cup.
Titled as ‘A Race for All’ the Round the Island certainly attracts all comers for as well as Olympic sailors an Olympic Equestrian was taking part. After competing on four legs in eventing for three decades Mary King MBE was to test her sea legs aboard ‘New Dawn of Hythe’ in the ISCRS Class4. Having represented Great Britain at the Olympics between 1992 and 2012 Mary gained 2 silver and 1 bronze medals.
One factor of the JPMAM race is the number of charities which take part. CRY- Cardiac Risk in the Young- set up in 1995 was the first organisation to draw attention to the range of conditions that can cause sudden cardiac death in the young.
It was one such tragic event that claimed the life of footballer Terry Yorath’s young son, Daniel when he was just 15. More recently Bolton Wanderers midfielder Patrice Muamba survived a cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane in a FA Cup Tie in March 2012.
Subsidised heart screening is available to any person aged 14-35 as Sudden Cardiac Arrest has been shown to be hereditary and medical research is endeavouring to discover which genes are responsible for the condition which affects young people aged 35 and under sometimes in their sleep.
For their money raising endeavours for CRY, including taking part in last year’s race, a team of supporters were awarded a JPMAM Trophy for charity work and this year’s team hope to raise more money for CRY which includes young people on the Island in its remit.
Back to the Race: The majority of the 1,584-strong fleet finished the 2015 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club by around 8pm after a day of racing in sparkling conditions. Giovanni Belgrano’s 38ft classic yacht Whooper has been revealed as winner of the main prize, the Gold Roman Bowl.
The MOD70 trimaran Concise 10 took line honours, finishing at 1040, with an elapsed time of three hours, 30 minutes and 24 seconds. This puts her 38 minutes outside the multihull race record set by Sir Ben Ainslie in 2013.
Four GC32 foiling catamarans crossed the line just after 1100, led by Leigh McMillan on ‘Sultanate of Oman’ and after a close race that saw the boats separated by less than six minutes at the finish.
Mike Slade’s 100ft Leopard finished at 1140 to take monohull line honours, but was outside the record time he set two years ago.