#rtir – Peta Stuart-Hunt provides an overview as the countdown to the longest day commences
This Saturday, the 83rd edition of the Round the Island Race, hosted and run by the Cowes-based Island Sailing Club, will commence at 0630. The massive fleet will head off from Cowes on the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight. The Race, enjoying its 10th year of title sponsorship from J.P. Morgan Asset Management, started in 1931 with 25 boats and on Saturday 21st June - the longest day - there will be in excess of 1580 yachts competing.
The Race has come a long way since those early days and especially over the past ten years under the continuing expert stewardship of the Island Sailing Club, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the family of Race Partners.
In order to bring the Race alive to its army of supporters around the world, skippers are encouraged to sign up to live tracking rtir.me/tracking, whilst families, friends and followers around the globe can follow the Race progress on the popular LIVE Blog, and there's a constant news output both on the Race website and on social media platforms.
This Race continues to retain a special place in sailors' hearts and its popularity continues to increase as organisers point to a 7% growth in the number of 'first timers' signing up to experience one of the most iconic yacht races in the world.
The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is indeed the largest yacht race of its kind in the world and it is also one of the largest participation sports in the UK attracting over 15,000 sailors to its start line. Entries come in from a wide range of professionals and amateur sailors, across the generations and level of ability... and all competing on equal terms. It's a rare and special thing.