Smiles Sunshine and Spinnakers

Last Saturday morning around 7am the clans gathered for the annual Round the Island Race in the Solent. Competitors in yachts small and large lined up in Cowes to await the beginning of the race round the Isle of Wight.

Conditions were “reasonable” as the first group of boats responded to the starting canon. Ahead of them lay a 50 mile course round the island in an anti-clockwise direction.

Groups of boats leave Cowes at 10 minute intervals and travel past Sconce Point, through the narrows near Hurst Castle on the mainland, round the well-known landmark of the Needles, along past St Catherine’s Point, Dunnose, Bembridge and back to Cowes.

If, like me you were looking for action shots, you were going to be disappointed. The sea had a good swell, but the wind was unpredictable and at times non-existent.

Crews had time to relax, in some cases sun themselves, pose and wave at the photographers and, when a breath of a following wind occurred, obligingly hoist very colourful spinnakers.

On the whole it was a slow job and by lunchtime the leaders were nowhere in sight from Ryde Pier.

Verdict this year?

A jolly but somewhat lengthy exercise.

More photographs from the event will appear on my website later this weekend.   |