The 81st J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is drawing to a close.
More than 1,640 entries were registered to take part in the 50 nautical mile race heading west from the Royal Yacht Squadron line. Bad weather, including gusty winds, meant anumber of classes had to withdraw before the 7am start this morning.
Race control estimates that around 400 boats are still racing.
By luncthime, four incidents had been reported by the race management team at the Island Sailing Club.
There were two head injuries and one spinal injury and the families of those injured had been informed.
All three competitors who suffered injuries have been treated and released from hospital, organisers say.
A small multihull capsized North of Hamstead Ledge on the North-West of the Island. All crew were safely brough to shore in Yarmouth.
According to Cowes RNLI, the 20ft yacht "Itch" was dismasted one mile west of Egypt Point at 09:35. Her seven person crew were initialy towed by the boat "Jumper" before Cowes RNLI completed the tow to Trinity Pontoon, Cowes.
After last year's race, Cowes and other lifeboats were at full stretch dealing with emergencies caused by the strong winds and choppy seas so the number of volunteer crews have been increased this year.
The brand new Atlantic 85 'Sheena Louise', will patrol an area between the Cowes starting line and Gurnard Marsh. The lifeboat will return to the boathouse at 12 noon, to refuel and stand-down.
In a statement, race organisers confirmed there have been two head injuries and one spinal injury in the morning. Families have been informed.
Providing there are no alerts in the meantime, the lifeboat will take to the Solent again at 1.30 pm, this time to patrol the area between Prince Consort Buoy and Wootton Creek. The lifeboat, then helmed by James Findlay, is due to return to the boathouse at 6 pm.
Yarmouth RNLI has also been battling the elements today.
This year’s Race takes on a special significance as the organisers, the Island Sailing Club, the Title Sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the family of nine Race Partners welcome a number of Team GBR’s Olympic and Paralympic sailors to the event in the year that Great Britain hosts the Games.
Bembridge Inshore Lifeboat attended two incidents this afternoon.
A man onboard 'Four Seasons' was taken to Portsmouth with a suspected broken leg at around half-past two.
The crew of 36-foot 'Polly's Kettle' also required assistance, when they became dismasted just before one o clock.
Familiar names such as the triple Olympic gold medallist, Team GBR Finn sailor Ben Ainslie, the 2.4mR Paralympic sailor Helena Lucas, Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills, the 470 Class World Champions and Olympic hopefuls, will be joined in this year’s Race by Dame Ellen MacArthur, the Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank and international rugby union player, Nick Easter.
Sailing for charity
Isle of Wight Radio's very own Paul Topping is also taking part on board Moonspray with Rob da Bank and will be broadcasting live from the boat throughout the race. Find out how to sponsor him here http://www.iwradio.co.uk/features/ellen-macarthur-cancer-trust-round-the-island-challenge.
Meanwhile, you can follow Paul and the crew via GPS here http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk/web/code/php/main_c.php?map=rir12a&ui=rir4&style=std&override=§ion=follow&page=gpstracking and follow the boat ELLEN MACARTHUR CANCER TRUST 1.
'Actual', a Multi-50 trimaran skippered by Yves Le Blevec, was first across the finish line.
It took them 3 hours, 9 minutes and 57 seconds to complete the course, just 1 minute and 27 seconds off the record time, according to the event's live blog.
Second place 'Prince de Bretagne', another Multi 50, while the first monohull, 'Leopard', came third overall, lapping the Island in 3 hours, 59 minutes and 4 seconds.
British Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie finished the race at just before two o clock this afternoon (Saturday). He was at the helm of the 162-foot schooner, Eleonora.
Speaking about his day on the water, and his last big event before the Olympic Games, Ben said: “It was a lovely day, a beautiful boat and amazing racing, and totally different to what I’m used to.”
Ellen MacArthur and the crew of 'Dark Star' completed the 50 nautical mile course just after half-past three, with a provisional time of 7 hours 30 minutes.
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