Boaters take to the water for Round the Island Race

Pete Bridge's J30 Cheers crosses the start line.

The 53rd Easter Round the Island Sailing Regatta, sponsored by Harbour House Marina, featured 10 boats racing out of the North Sound’s main channel in a clockwise direction for 42 miles to Sunset House in George Town.

Eduardo Bernal’s J22 Calima, helmed by Mike Farrington and Eduardo Bernal, were first to finish, in 6 hours, 37 minutes. Bruce Johnson’s Blue Runner was second overall and winner of the Round the Island Cruiser Race. Alan Roffey’s Resolution, helmed by Ben Webster, was next to finish, organizers said in a press release.

In stronger than expected northeasterly winds, frequently gusting over 20 knots, Calima stayed close to shore and held out impressively as the lead boat all the way, despite the larger J37 Blue Runner sailing an excellent race, the press release states. “In warming up for the upcoming world championships, the J22’s performance was all the more impressive considering its size and the conditions,” organizers said.

The two J30s were quick upwind and were only caught by the bigger boats on the downwind leg along the south coast where sea conditions favored them. Shanti’s upwind advantage was too much for Cheers, who despite clawing back the sizeable deficit downwind, finished less than two minutes behind her sister boat. New entries from Suvi Hayden on Fenicia, Andrew Schofield on Blue Moon and Julian Meusch on Norhimar all sailed well, the press release states.

J boats were well represented this year, making up half of the fleet and the top two places in both races.

Heavy Seas and gusty northerly winds meant challenging conditions on the north coast, with several boats taking the 10-minute penalty to use their engines in the channel. Fortunately, all boats made it to George Town in good time.

Back to the Sound Race

Saturday’s race saw Calima make it a double for the weekend by winning the 12.3 mile Back to the Sound Race, with Shanti second and Resolution third on adjusted time.

The club and competitors thanked Harbour House Marina for sponsoring the race, providing the race committee and ferry service; Sunset House and Sunset Divers for laying marks, arranging moorings and refreshments; and the coaches and members at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club for their help behind the scenes.

To view more or photos of the race, see www.facebook.com/HarbourHouseMarina/.

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