As the sun rose over the Solent and we prepared Grey Power off world famous yachtie destination Cowes, there was already a sea of sails as far as the eye could see.
The J. P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is one of the world’s largest yacht races featuring every type of boat from the supermaxi yachts of billionaires to small dinghies.
While the non-existent wind created the slowest ever elapsed finish time, the carnival atmosphere the 50 mile course is renowned for was still evident, as teams did Mexican waves upon rounding the headlands and drams of whiskey toasted Summer Solstice.
For the final hour and a half, the wind picked up off Bembridge Ledge and we managed to put our tacking manoeuvres into practice on the new kit installed ahead of Sir Robin’s Transatlantic solo race later this year.
Grey Power picked up speed quickly and we saw a glimpse of what she can do as we crossed a busy finish line by a barge just off the Royal Yacht Squadron.
Marina Thomas is the Clipper Race’s press officer and enjoys living out of a suitcase while traveling as much as possible. She also works as a freelance journalist and is a news addict, London and Sydney lover, trance music aficionado and sports and adventure nut. Her website: https://www.www.marinathomas.com/