10 top tips for racing in Round the Island Race - from Firefly House, luxury accommodation in Cowes



  1. Sleep - Get a good night’s sleep before the race - and go easy on the rum!

  2. Be prepared -There are some excellent guidance notes for the race on the race website (www.roundtheisland.org.uk). Also make sure you have fully read the Sailing Instructions. Study and take note of all tidal flows around the Island on the day and the latest weather forecasts.

  3. Don't rush - Stay away from the start until it is your turn. There is no need to push your luck at being right on the line. If you are over then you will be given a penalty and your race is essentially over (A penalty of 5% is added for any yacht that is over the line at the start. Dipping back will not remove the penalty).

  4. Keep out of trouble - This is a long race and lots of time can be lost through getting involved in tacking duals and contests with other individual yachts (they might not even be in your class).

  5. Keep spotting - Focus on spotting lanes through the fleet when tacking. Avoid having to dip and try to find clean wind. Dedicate a crew member to spotting other yachts and calling the tacks.

  6. Keep trimming - Be proactive trimming the kite and avoid other yachts covering from behind. If it is not very windy it is easy to switch off downwind and lose a lot of time.

  7. Get some rest - Best rest spot is when running along the back of the Island. The last section of the race is the beat up to the finish against the tide and is the most challenging. This requires everyone to be alert.

  8. No paddling - Be careful around Ryde Sands. Have a clear strategy of how close and where your yacht can go. Keep a keen eye on the sounder and take note of yachts that are aground or touching the sands. In places the sands shelve very steeply often showing with a change of colour at the surface, don’t ignore this.

  9. Keep the end in sight - The finish can be chaotic, so be wary. Everyone is tired and wanting to finish, a bit of patience may be required. Having come this far it is important to finish safely and on good terms with everyone. (Make sure you cross the correct finish line for your class!)

  10. Get drunk - Have fun and enjoy yourself. No matter where you come in the race have a great night out in Cowes.

Good luck everyone from Firefly House !