Round the Island Race, 25 June 2022

July 5, 2022

It was great to be back sailing again on Winsome in Round the Island (RTI) Race, after a 2 year break, due to the event not being held in 2020 and 2021, due to COVID-19. This year, the sailing conditions were great – nice strong winds (but not too strong!), sunshine, a great team onboard Winsome and quite a good wind direction for Winsome. As usual, Winsome was very well prepared, Harry had prepared all the navigation and Boj gave us a great briefing in advance with the proposed weather and plan for the day. We had a great team on board including Harry (navigation), Laura (helming), Leen (main/helming), Boj (pitt/tactics), Francois, DJ and Joost H (trimming), Lennard (mast) and Floris (bow).


Our overall plan was to stay near the island and sail the shortest distance possible around the Isle of Wight, whilst remaining in favourable tide heading towards the needles and then staying in very close to the island, out of the tide for the rest of the race – but ensuring not to get too close for any wind-shadows from the land. We were in class 2C and started at 8.40am. The wind was a consistent 15 to 20 knots all day and wind was from 180 to 210 degrees, so quite a southerly wind direction.

WINSOME’s track around the Isle of Wight



The start line was on the RYS line and we decided to start near the land, about 25% of the way down the line, to ensure we were not in a wind shadow of the island and to try and stay out in the strong tide but benefit from the favoured side of the line from a wind perspective (which was the side near the RYS).

We were a few boat lengths behind the line at the start, but overall it was a good start. Nearly everyone started on port tack (including us) but there were a few starboard tackers that came in and then tacked, so we made sure to stay clear of them.

We had a long beat towards the Needles, including passing Gurnard, then up along the island shore to Hurst Castle and then to the Needles.

The wind was strong at Hurst Castle, when it funnelled through the narrow gap and the tide was behind us. We enjoyed the beat towards the Needles, with a few tight crosses, with some of the boats in our class and we caught up with some boats in the fleet ahead of us too.

WINSOME’s track in between Varvassi and The Needles Lighthouse


Thanks to Harry’s great navigation, we sailed safely inside the wreck and gained a lot of distance and time at the Needles by sailing in very close to the island (within a few boat lengths!) – meaning we sailed a shorter distance but also at this stage, the tide was now against us and we stayed in out of the tide (the tide had been with us towards the Needles but as we turned the corner around the Needles, heading towards St Catherine’s Point, it was now against us). To stay in less tide, we sailed below (keeping towards the island) the rhumb line (straight line between the 2 points) between the Needles and St Catherine’s. This worked well and we managed to stay in less tide but also away from many of the other boats. A very small number of boats tried their spinnakers but it was too tight and we sailed with just our outboard sheet on the jib, so this was just a 2 sail reach.

At St Catherine’s, we again stayed in close to the island and bore away about 45 degrees. This enabled us to hoist our no. 2 spinnaker and we had a very long sail down past Ventnor. We peeled to our no 1 spinnaker and also put up ruby (our stay sail) to give us extra sail area and speed.

Floris and Lennard did a great job peeling the spinnaker. It was then down past Bembridge Ledge, past Seaview, around the forts and past Ryde, into the finish line.

After the forts and Ryde Sands, we decided to try and keep the spinnaker up for the tight reach into the finish. We knew it would be tight but we decided to give it a go and due to the great crew work (and some luck that the wind didn’t shift to the right or increase a lot), we were able to hold the spinnaker, the entire way into the finish line. Leen was trimming the main, Francois was trimming the spinnaker, DJ was on the kicker, Lennard, Floris and Joost were calling the gusts, Harry and Boj were navigating us into the finish line and Laura was helming – everyone was working very well together, the communication was great and it was a true team effort to get across the finish line, first in our class 2C. It was a very close finish after almost 7 hours of racing and we crossed the line only 1 second ahead of Joy, the JPK 1010. We finished 2nd across the finish line in the entire of class 2 (including all of class 2A, 2B and 2C). Jin Tonic, a J105 beat us by 9 minutes across the water and by only 5 minutes on corrected time. We were delighted to win class 2C and to finish 2nd in class 2 and 21st overall in IRC.

This was a very enjoyable Round the Island Race and thanks to Harry and the entire Winsome team for a very enjoyable day. We had great crew work, a very nice atmosphere onboard and excellent racing conditions with good wind and sunshine. Thanks very much to Harry, Leen, DJ, Joost, Francois, Boj, Floris and Lennard for another great Round the Island Race. We are already looking forward to the next RTI race on 1 July 2023. The day was finished off with some nice drinks at RORC, followed by a lovely dinner at the RYS. The entire Winsome crew attended the prize giving to cheer Harry when he received the winning prize for class 2C.

Harry collecting the prize for Winsome, Class 2C Winner


Thanks very much everyone and I am already looking forward to the next sailing on Winsome in a few weeks time.


Best wishes


PM Pictures thanks to Paul Wyeth (

Post by Boj | July 5, 2022 |