The annual Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, an island situated off the south coast of England. The race regularly attracts over 1,600 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largests yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.
Competitors come from all over the UK, other parts of Europe and as far away as the USA to follow the 50 nautical mile course round the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, the fleet races westabout, to The Needles, round St Catherine's Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.
Spectators can find many vantage points, both on the mainland and Isle of Wight, to watch the race progress. The first start in Cowes for the 2017 race will be at 5.30am, and you can find more information about where the boats typically are at different times during the day by clicking here. Those who cannot get to watch in person can always keep an eye on the race's progress on the website, via our live text commentary and our boat tracking facility.
A great and landmark event and an enormous credit to the Island Sailing Club...the sheer professionalism of the management team is impressive
The race is a great opportunity to watch world-renowned sailors racing against families and first time racers.
This year’s race takes place on Saturday 7th July, a few weeks later than normal because of a potential clash with the Isle of Wight Festival. Leading the fleet away at 0630 will be the Open 60s, IRC Class 0, Class40 and the Clipper Yachts. Starts then continue every ten minutes until 0810, when the final group of ISCRS boats cross the start line and begin the first leg of their 50nm course around the Isle of Wight.
New additions for the 2018 race are the Diam 24 multihull sportsboats and the super-fast HP30s, both of whom have their own classes for the first time. They’ll be joining the regular and varied 1500-strong fleet of racing and cruising monohulls, multihulls, Gaffers, Classics and dayboats taking on one of the world’s best-loved sailing challenges – a unique day of fun, excitement, team-spirit and achievement. As usual, friends, family and sailing fans at home won’t be missing out on the action either, with GPS tracking, live TV coverage and regular social media updates keeping everyone up-to-date with progress on the race track.
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