6 April 2021

Round the Island Race 2021

By Sonia Hook Senior Marketing Executive
Round The Island Race HKJ

Team Haven K-J navigates its way around the Island

On a cloudy Saturday on 3rd July, over 1200 boats and 7,000 sailors could be found milling about on the water in the Solent, waiting for the start of the 90th Round the Island Race. Postponed in 2020 for the first time since WW2 – the atmosphere was one of excitement and relief that the 2021 race was actually going ahead.

We were lucky enough to not only be a sponsor for the race itself, but also to sponsor two of the boats participating in it – ‘Haven K-J Enigma’ and ‘Haven K-J Scotch Mist’.

On board 'Haven K-J Enigma'

With very little wind at the start, getting away in clear air was critical. The best laid plans . . . ‘Haven K-J Enigma’ started towards the island shore (good!), amongst a tight group of boats (bad!). Once clear of the start, we settled into making the best of the tide and wind shifts. By Yarmouth, we were in good company, just behind the leading pack in IRC Group 3. At the Needles, we cut inside the wreck of the Varvassy, just a few metres West of the rock shelf below the lighthouse. Bearing away, it seemed that the next leg was just too shy for a spinnaker, but after a period of close reaching, the kite was hoisted. The reach got even tighter and we eventually dropped, to reach up St Catherine’s Point, rounding outside of Venum, the Class Zero 60 footer which had run aground.

The spinnaker was hoisted again as soon as we bore-away and this was carried all the way to Bembridge. By this time, we knew we were in good company and that a good result was possible.

After carefully negotiating Ryde Sands (where a few boats went aground), we settled in to the long close reach to the finish, carefully trimming sails all the way. We stayed a little further offshore than some at Old Castle Point, to avoid the wind shadow, and gained some ground. ‘Haven K-J Enigma’ finished at 15:13:17, to claim 1st in IRC 3A out of 32 boats and 19th overall in IRC.  We were also part of a Parkstone Yacht Club team with two other boats (Energy and Ruthless), winning the IRC Team Trophy.

Huge thanks go to the super crew of ‘Haven K-J Enigma’, who worked really hard to squeeze every last fraction of a knot out of her. They were : Pete (“Its shallow, but carry on”), Marki-Mark (“We don’t normally go this far in!”), Nick (“who forgot the cups?”), Carrie (“Pole forward, no, back again!”), Ian P (“Pole back, no, forward again!”). Ross (“you’re all so old”). A great team effort and a very happy, but tired crew enjoyed a good meal and just a few drinks on Saturday evening.

Ian on HKJ Branded Boat


Finished in – 07:53.17

Position in IRC Class – 1st

Overall IRC position – 19th out of 331 boats

On board 'Haven K-J Scotch Mist'

A bright and early start on ‘Haven K-J Scotch Mist’ did not mean flagging spirits at the start line as we had an excellent start in light winds and strong tide.  As the second to last start in the morning we got to see close up some great images of up to 1,000 boats on the Solent.  We reached the Needles in super quick time and rounded close (but safely) to the lighthouse which is a magnificent sight.

We hugged the shoreline for the first part of the back of the island to escape the heavy tides further out but followed a more conventional course once round St Catherine’s.  Kites were flown, fun was had and we celebrated as we crossed the finish line after 8 hours and 46 minutes on the water.   Overall a highly satisfactory day on ‘Haven K-J Scotch Mist’.


Finished – 08:46:14

Position in ISC Class – 13th

Overall ISC position – 74th out of 580 entered

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