Sacrificing his own race to go to the aid of another stricken competitor in the 2016 Round the Island Race has resulted in Jeff Warboys, skipper of a Sigma 33 Workout, being awarded the 2016 Round the Island Race Seamanship Award, sponsored by Haven Knox-Johnston.
Another competing boat, Alchemist, a Dubois half tonner, hit a submerged wreck off the Needles and was rapidly taking on water in strong winds. After making a distress call, the crew quickly dropped sails and then started bailing using the bilge pump. However, and despite their strenuous efforts, the water level rose very quickly.
On board Workout Jeff spotted the frantic activity and approached Alchemist to offer assistance. Although this was declined, as a distress call had already been made, Workout dropped its sails and continued to stand by throughout the wait for the rescue team from the RNLI. This took longer than anticipated owing to other distress calls in the area.
Those on board Alchemist expressed their sincere thanks to Jeff Warboys and his crew for offering assistance at the expense of losing out in their own race.
Thankfully, all six members of the Alchemist crew were uninjured and rescued by the Mudeford RNLI inshore lifeboat team just moments before she sank.
Given all these circumstances, Jeff and his crew still turned in a remarkable 1st in the Sigma 33 class and 9th in his group, IRC 3!