The main attraction of the race, Eleonora. Picture by Chris Boynton.
ROUND THE ISLAND RACE
SOME of the well-known names competing in the race included triple Olympic gold medallist, Ben Ainslie, 2.4mR Paralympic sailor Helena Lucas and reigning 470 world champions Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills on Farr 45s.
Ainslie co-helmed the largest boat ever to compete in the race, the 162ft Herreshoff schooner Eleonora. She looked majestic under full sail and dwarfed all those around her.
Apart from Ainslie, the beautiful yacht was also hosting international rugby player Nick Easter.
Ainslie and the race crew had a great day on the water but back on shore the Olympian said they were unable to notch up a decent overall result and ended up in 47th place in IRC 0.
He said: "It was a lovely day, a beautiful boat and amazing racing, and totally different to what I’m used to."
Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank gave up his time to support the official charity, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. He sailed on Moonspray with IW Radio’s Paul Topping while Dame Ellen, whose sailing CV needs no introduction, was on board Dark Star, a 90ft sloop loaned to the trust for the day, with youngsters from the trust.
She texted the media centre as they headed into Hurst Narrows to say: "everything is all nice and steady".
Dark Star completed the course just after 3.30pm, with a provisional time of seven hours and 30 minutes.
Record-breaking round the world yachtswoman, Dee Caffari, skippered Toe in the Water with injured servicemen and women among the crew.
Round the Island Race Results