Round the Island Race – First entry a family affair

Calypso, the latest Contessa 32 built by Jeremy Rogers and family - Round the Island Race 2011
The first entry processed for this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race was from the legendary boat builder and sailor, Mr Jeremy Rogers in the family's new 'greener' Contessa 32, Calypso.

Launched last year in partnership with the RYA/BMF 'The Green Blue' for the PSP Southampton Boat Show, Calypso showcases a wide range of green products and technology from a hybrid engine to a real wood teak alternative called Kebony. Jeremy Rogers' son and one of Calypso's co-owners, Kit Rogers, explains: 'We wanted to build a Contessa 32, which is a classic, top quality boat with the least possible impact on the environment, and this was a perfect opportunity to show that you can do both without compromising.'

As well as being the 80th Anniversary of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, 2011 also marks the 40th Anniversary of the much-loved Contessa 32, still in production from Jeremy Rogers' yard in Lymington, Hampshire.

Jeremy (73), a one-time Admiral's Cup winner and a former Yachtsman of the Year, is as renowned as his boats and he will be steering Calypso round a course he knows only too well. In 2002/2003 and 2006 he sailed his way to victory in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race in his Contessa 26, Rosina of Beaulieu, making him the only person to have won the coveted Gold Roman Bowl three times in the same boat.

Although this race always attracts a large entry in the Contessa 32 class, Calypso will be entered under IRC rules, the only class eligible to race for the Gold Roman Bowl.

'The good thing about racing in IRC in the Round The Island is that Calypso is rather overweight for a Contessa 32, with all the extra batteries for the hybrid engine and the Kebony deck and, in IRC that weight will be taken into account,' explains Jeremy.

'It's just about as exciting as a day's yacht racing can be - and we're proud to be raising money for our local hospice, Oakhaven in Lymington at the same time,' he continues.

Calypso will be helmed by Jeremy and crewed by sons Simon, Kit and David, wife Fiona and daughter-in-law Jessie.

The Early Bird entry discount finishes at midnight on 5th March, so the organisers, ever mindful of looking after their competitors’ interests, are encouraging everyone to get their entries in as soon as possible.

If you don’t own your own boat or you haven’t been invited to participate as crew this year, there’s no need to sit on the sidelines. Charter and hospitality companies are as keen as ever to encourage people to take up the sport and are offering great incentives and opportunities.

Charity Challenge:
In 2010 the Race raised over £100,000 for Charity. Since 2007 an incredible £350,000 has been raised in total and, with your help, we hope to reach £500,000 in 2011.

As an extra incentive for fundraisers, any competitor who has ticked the relevant box on their entry form and who raises £250 or more, will be automatically entered into our new initiative, the ‘Charity Challenge’. The yacht with the fastest corrected time on handicap racing in both ISC and IRC will receive a £1,000 donation to their chosen charity.

To make it even easier for competitors to fundraise, we have set up a special Virgin Money Giving page.

Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award:
The Island Sailing Club is delighted to announce that the prestigious Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award, presented in recognition of outstanding seamanship that takes place on the day of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, is up for grabs again in 2011. The Award, which is open to competitors and spectators, members of the emergency services and race officials, wasn’t given in 2010 as there were no exceptional circumstances displaying outstanding seamanship and hence no nominees. The recipient of this year's Award, will be announced after the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race being held on Saturday 25th June.

Competitor feedback – your opinions count:
Each year the Island Sailing Club invites all of its competitors to complete a short questionnaire to provide thoughts and feedback on the Race. Nearly 500 of the 2010 competitors responded and their views and suggestions have formed an important part of the Race planning for 2011. Some of the more frequent questions, together with the improvements that the organisers are making as a direct result of competitor comments, can be found here.

Book a VIP Race Place with Britannia:
Britannia Corporate Events, a J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race Partner, is offering a fantastic VIP Race Place package for individuals or small groups who do not own their own yacht, or have a team large enough to justify chartering an entire yacht. Britannia is the official yacht charter and corporate hospitality partner for the Round the Island Race and is offering a limited number of places on a top quality racer/cruiser yacht, VIP berthing in Cowes Yacht Haven and a fully inclusive package.

The Britannia VIP Race Place is open to novices and experts alike, allowing them to experience the 80th Anniversary of this fantastic race for just £595 inc. VAT per person. The experience will include:

• A space on a top quality Britannia racer/cruiser
• VIP berthing in Cowes Yacht Haven
• Training day on Friday 24th June
• Race Day on Saturday 25th June
• On-board catering
• Race entry
• Full hospitality package

Contact: simon@britanniaevents.co.uk for further information.

For all the pre-Race entry news, special features, the Race history, competitor stories and to enter the 2011 Race online, please visit the website.