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2023 S&CA Round The Island “Race”

The month of May this year was filled with some rather incredible events. The Coronation of our new monarch, Eurovision, Phillip Schofield’s resignation. Some arguably more newsworthy than others. But only one event was Newsbouy-worthy: the annual Round the Island Race.

The race saw an impressive turnout with eight club boats – Temptress, Angel’s Share, Endeavour, Kina Balu, Shameless, Andromeda, Jacaranda & Ceol na Mara – and a total of twenty-one crew members participating. It was an impressive line-up by any measure, and with a favorable forecast of a decent northeast wind and glorious sunshine, it promised to be a fantastic day for sailing.

Now, if you’re expecting a detailed account of slick racing strategies, daring maneuvers, and expert seamanship, I must apologize for disappointing you. As it turned out, half the fleet went north of the island while the other half went south. Make of that what you will. On Angel’s Share our strategy was locked in when one crew member declared at 1100 that the sun was over the yardarm and that a fridge full of cold beer awaited below. Coincidentally, that was also the time when the track on the chart plotter began to look like a three-year old’s crayon drawing. Lack of wind no doubt! There was nothing for it but to settle into the fine weather and try and improve the t-shirt tan. “Sun’s out, guns out” and all that. One crew member taking things considerably further and appearing on deck in Speedos. It’s a Brazilian thing apparently.

Reports about the actual race vary, but the rumor has it that all boats, except Endeavour, resorted to using their auxiliary engines out of necessity.

Regardless of the race itself, all boats reached the picturesque Alum Bay safely. Well, mostly safely, except for one incident on Angel’s Share involving an unsecured anchor locker hatch and an errant gust of wind. Endeavour’s crew took a refreshing dip in the water before all crews gathered on the beach to witness a spectacular sunset (although some claim to have seen better!) and some very impressive beach set-ups – looking at you, Kina Balu!

After a tranquil night at anchor, Temptress and Ceol na Mara parted ways with the fleet, leaving the rest of us to continue our journey, once again blessed with wonderful conditions, towards the renowned Folly Inn. Despite the crowds during the bank holiday and the boats being rafted three or four deep, the berthing master managed to keep our little fleet together. This led to a delightful and convivial pre-dinner sundowner session, with some even comparing it to being in Ibiza!

Eventually, all crews made their way to the Folly for dinner. Due to increased demand over the weekend, the only options available were fish and chips or halloumi and chips. Of course, this situation could only be remedied by indulging in more wine. Suffice to say, the festivities continued on various vessels back at the pontoon, with some non-club members from other boats joining in the fun. We truly are a friendly and welcoming bunch!

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and Monday morning saw our little fleet depart for home ports. It’s important to note that this article is solely based on the author’s recollection of events and should not be relied upon for any formal race results or protests. The author’s memory can only be described as moderate at first, very poor later. Monday morning’s physical state: rough!

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