Island Race Honours for Rogers

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Jeremy Rogers with Rosina of Beaulieu, a 1960s design Contessa 26, won the Gold Roman Bowl in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race for the second time.

In the 75th running of the classic Isle of Wight event, the overall winner’s small old-school design boat was a winning formula.

Light winds favoured the lower rating boats with Edward Donald’s Madelaine 11 and last year’s winner Tony Dodd’s Purple Haze fourth. In one of the slowest races in recent years, only 735 of the 1,587 starters finished the 51-mile course.

The first boat to finish was Olympian Mitch Booth with his Volvo Extreme 40 Holmatro, who took line honours in 8hr 20min 55secs - five hours longer than the 2001 multi-hull record set by Frenchman Francis Joyon of 3hr 8min.

These high speed catamarans built for in-shore racing and short offshore sprints showed their pace. Holmatro was challenged by solo yachtswoman Dee Caffari’s Basilica who was 44 mins later over the finish line.

In all classes there was much position changing in the light breezes and difficult tides, especially around the halfway mark off St Catherine’s point.

Charles Dunstone, boss of Carphone Warehouse, took his Transpac 52 Red to be the first monohull over the line in an elapsed time of 9hr 07mins 13secs.

Kit Hobday’s Bear of Britain, skippered by Mark Campbell-James finished 13 mins ahead of Peter Harrison’s Chernikeef 2 which had Ellen MacArthur on board. Their IRC Group Zero was won by Atomic.

In the equivalent of the London Marathon at sea, old campaigner and solo sailing pioneer Robin Knox-Johnson sailed Grey Power into second in the Open 60 class in just over ten hours.

The six boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet made slow progress on their eighth leg, 1,500 miles round the British Isles from Portsmouth to Rotterdam, part of a Round-the-World race. Neal McDonald’s Ericsson and Torben Grael’s Brazil 1 led across St George’s Channel, closing on the southern Irish coast, with Paul Cayard’s Pirates of the Caribbean third.

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