Record entry for Round the Island Race 2023
Published 21:44 on 5 Jul 2023
34 Contessa 32's started the 2023 Round the Island Race making it the largest class entry since the 1990's. The class was also the most represented throughout the 1100 boats - quite an achievement for a design over 50 years old. The fleet left Cowes at the leisurely time of 09:20am and found themselves tacking down the Western Solent into a fresh South Westerly and those at the front quickly crawled their way through the tail enders of the starts ahead.
With winds of 20-25kts and large seas, the back of the Island was tricky and despite the carnage in front (including multiple multi-hull capsizes, dismastings and calls to the coastguard) the CO32 proved its worth as a sea-going boat once again with almost all making it through unscathed.
By Bembridge ledge, it was clear that three boats, Binkie II, Growler III and Drumbeat, had best weathered the proverbial storm and all three were fighting incredibly closely to take the title. The tacking duels up the Island shore to stay out the tide were hard fought, but in the end Binkie II proved victorious with Growler III just over a minute behind and Drumbeat a minute behind her - not bad after over 9 hours of racing. In the end, 30 of the 34 starters completed the race, with 25 in the top half of the ISC table, showing the exceptionally high standard of the fleet.
Photo Credit: Paul Wyeth (www.pwpictures.com)
Last updated 17:16 on 22 November 2023