Round the Island Race 2011 – Toe in the Water fourth fastest monohull

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2011 is a 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight, held today, Saturday 25th June.

Tri service charity Toe in the Water, competing on the Artemis Ocean Racing IMOCA 60 with a crew of injured service personnel, secured a well fought result as the fourth fastest monohull. The team finished the 50 mile sprint around the Isle of Wight having battled to the finish line against a number of professional crews in a tight race that saw winds upwards of 25 knots and choppy conditions.

The yacht, generously loaned by Artemis Investment Management, was skippered by record breaking round the world yachtswoman, Dee Caffari MBE. She was joined by a number of servicemen including four who were injured whilst on operations in Afghanistan, as well as WO2 Lloyd Hamilton, Toe in the Water’s Racing Director.

The fifth place in the 2011 edition of the race marks a special moment for the crew as it falls on the UK’s Armed Forces Day – a day that gives the Nation an opportunity to show its support for the contribution made to our country by those who serve or have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

Dee Caffari MBE, who recently completed her fourth circumnavigation of the planet whilst competing in the Barcelona World Race is an ambassador for the charity and regularly joins the Toe in the Water crews at a variety of regattas.

Dee said: 'It has been a brilliant race! The boys were really up for it and the conditions were ideal for Artemis Ocean Racing. We were close to being the first monohull to lead the fleet out of the Solent at the Needles and we then had some full on racing with the spinnaker up in 25 knots offshore. Not many people get to experience an Open 60 so powered up! This was my first time on another Open 60 and I really enjoyed it. We were a well-oiled team and a huge thanks needs to go to Artemis for giving Toe in the Water this fantastic opportunity.'

The injured servicemen onboard included Sapper Billy Golbourn (Royal Engineers), Captain Martin Hewitt (Parachute Regiment), Capt Ed Addington (2 Rifles) and Lieutenant Pete Hayward (1 Royal Welch Fusiliers). Capt Martin Hewitt was one of the very first injured servicemen to be referred to Toe in the Water in 2008. Since racing with the charity he has gone on to ski with the British Adaptive Ski Team and most recently was one of the four injured servicemen to walk to the North Pole with HRH Prince Harry as part of the ‘Walking with the Wounded’ project. Both Toe in the Water and the Walking with the Wounded project are proudly supported by Artemis Investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment management companies.

Capt Martin Hewitt said: 'It was a great race. The injured guys have illustrated what can be achieved post-injury, competing at the highest level against world class crews and fitting in with the team on Artemis Ocean Racing. I hope this can help inspire other injured soldiers to pursue whatever sport or activity they are passionate about to the highest level.'

WO2 Lloyd Hamilton said: 'On Armed Forces Day it was great that the Toe in the Water guys could take part in such a prestigious event. It was a really good race.'

For more information on Toe in the Water please contact Tanya Brookfield Tanya@toeinthewater.org or call 07879552156.

Toe in the Water website
Round the Island Race website