Skipper Jo Richards and his friends David Rickard and Duncan De Boltz, sailing Eeyore the smallest boat in the fleet, won the prestigious Gold Roman Bowl, at this year’s Round the Island Race after a long tactical day on the water.
The 2019 race offered challenging sailing conditions for the crew of Eeyore, an Alacrity 18 Bilge Keel from Cowes, which circumnavigated the Isle of Wight in 13 hours, 36 minutes and 31 seconds.
The fleet of over 1,200 entries contended with fluctuating wind speeds from every direction, with only 257 boats completing the race before the 10.30pm deadline.
First finisher (with a time of 7 hours, 33 minutes and 36 seconds) was Yves Le Blevec’s Graghjghnd Prix racing multihull – ‘Actual Leader’ which led for much of the race.
In light to moderate winds she managed to shake off her closest on-the-water rivals – Jethou, Ino XXX, Lady Mariposa and Mini Y.
The award for the first monohull across the line, at 16:30:28 (taking 9 hours and 28 seconds), went to Sir Peter Ogden’s Judel Vrolijk Mini Maxi ‘Jethou’ which almost snatched the lead from ‘Actual Leader’ earlier in the day.
Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, David Atkinson said:
“It’s been a difficult day, we started in such great conditions in the morning with the wind doing exactly what we thought it would but as the day progressed the wind became increasingly unpredictable.”
“One example was at St Catherine’s Point where one side there was 15knts of breeze, but just around the corner, half a mile away only 5-6knts of breeze from a totally different direction. Tactically today it was difficult because the wind was all over the show.”