Round the Island Race 2022: how to follow – spectator’s guide

Don’t miss any of the Round the Island Race 2022 action with this spectator’s guide. We outline the different ways you can catch up on the race from the shore or from home

The Round the Island Race is one of the most popular sailing races in the world, with thousands of boats regularly taking part. Not only that, but it’s one of the few occasions in the sport that manages to bring together such a diverse array of participants to compete against each other, as will again be the case for the 2022 Round the Island Race.

This year, the Tour de l’île race celebrates its 90th anniversary. What began as a race for 25 runners in 1931 has grown to a peak of over 1,800 competitors. For many sailors, the race around the island is an annual celebration not to be missed on a summer day. For others, it’s a battle of wits over a complex course, involving shifting currents, unpredictable breezes and idiosyncratic tides.

Many of the competitors will be big names in the sport with Olympians and offshore legends taking part regularly. As such, the Round the Island race represents a unique day of sailing, offering the chance to test yourself directly against sailing heroes.

As with much of the sporting calendar, the Round the Island Race has been seriously affected by Covid over the past few years and the 2022 Round the Island Race is the race’s first real return to its usual late June timeslot.

When does the Round the Island Race 2022 start?

With so many participating boats, it would be virtually impossible to get everyone under way at once, so Round the Island Race competitors are divided into fleets of vessels with similar performance levels.

The article continues below…


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The fastest boats start first to avoid the whole fleet converging on one section of the course at the same time. This year, the first departure will be at 08:00 BST.

Round the Island Race 2022 starting order:

Start time: 0800 (BST)
Open 60
IRC group 0
CRI Group 1
Class 40
Clipper Yachts

Start time: 0810
Multihull Grand Prix and MOCRA Racing
Multihull gangway
catamaran cruise
Diameter 24
Gaffers Divisions 1, 2 & 3

Start time: 0820
sports boat
J/70
Solar Sail 41.0

Start time: 08:30
ISC Group 4 grading system

Start time: 08:40
CRI Group 2
J/80
D/88

Start time: 0850
CRI Group 3

Start time: 0900
ISC Group 5 grading system

Start time: 0910
ISC Group 6 grading system
Classic Racing Yachts racing under ISCRS
Modern classic racing yacht races under IRC

Start time: 0920
ISC Group 7 grading system
Norse Folkboat

Start time: 0930
ISC Group 8 grading system

On the Isle of Wight? Observe from the shore…

As the excitement builds, you’ll want a fantastic vantage point to watch the action. The table below shows the best viewpoints at each stage of the race along with directions on how to get there. Get ready to drive around the island yourself or find a spot and stick to it, it’s up to you!

Cowes (debut) 0800 – 0930 Via Ward Avenue, Baring Road and Castle Hill to the Parade and the Green either side of the Royal Yacht Squadron.
applique point 0930 – 1200 From Yarmouth head towards Freshwater. Turn right after 1/2 mile and follow signs for Fort Victoria.
The needles 0930 – 1200 From Freshwater or Totland, follow signs to Needles car park. Park and walk up West High Down to Needles Battery. Best view south of Coast Guard station.
Chilton China 1045 – 1400 Located on the cliffs near Brightstone is Chilton Chine (accessible from the military road). It has a wonderful view of the boats sailing by.
Pointe Sainte-Catherine 1130 – 1530 From Freshwater, Rookley or Ventnor, go to Niton. Take the loop road to Buddle Inn. Park and walk down the cliffs near the lighthouse.
Ventnor 1145 – 1600 Park on the cliff at the west end of the Esplanade.
bonchurch 1200 – 1630 Take the path to the sea opposite Bonchurch Pond. Turn left and park in the parking lot below, which is the best view.
culver down 1230 – 1730 From Brading, take the road to Bembridge. After 1 mile turn right and follow the sign for Culver (in a bend and hairpin lane!)
Ryde Pier 1330 – 1830 From Ryde Esplanade walk up the pier and park at the end. Parking for 1 hour.
Cowes (arrival) 0930 – 2000 Via Ward Ave., Baring Road and Castle Hill to the Parade and the Green either side of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Alternatively, you can stay in the Race Village, located on the Parade in Cowes, where there will be entertainment, food and drink, and the chance to chat with race sponsors Helly Hansen, Raymarine and the Ellen MacArthur CancerTrust.

But if you’re not lucky enough to be present in person when the starting gun is fired, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to follow the race, wherever you are.


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