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Flat sea defeats crews in Round the Island Race

The Scillonian Sailing Club's Round the Island Race took place on Sunday August 5th, with Keith and Ned Buchanan first to finish in the Redwing 'Shag'.

Photo by Robin Mawer

A total of 30 sail boats entered the race around St Mary’s to St Agnes, starting at the Bacon Buoy off the quay.

However, flat sea and a "fickle" easterly breeze meant around half the crews retired early after making little progress.

The annual race is now in its 31st year.

Photos by Robin Mawer

Read the full race report by Keith Buchanan below:

The High Pressure system squarely over Scilly produced flat sea and a fickle Easterly breeze. 30 sail boats entered to race around St Mary’s to St. Agnes, within the 4 hour time limit. With the light wind forecast to decrease and a favourable easterly current, a 10 o’clock start was organised.

The Harbour launch ‘Pegasus’ set the race start outside the Bacon buoy and on the gun, the fleet tacked towards Creeb. Jason Poat’s Laser 5000, Blue spinnaker set, running against the current trying to make the start.

Iona in the Laser and the Redwings ‘Spirit,’ ‘Balerina’, 'Fantastic’ and ‘Shag’ made good starts using the fair tide and looking for patches of breeze. ‘Shag’ was first to Creeb. In the flat sea, some found a line of wind inshore, others tacked out into the favourable current.

Some crews were disheartened, seemingly stuck in acres of glassy calm, retiring early. However the determined were rewarded with gifts of warm breeze, seals and a pod of dolphin.

The Laser 5000, having started late, set about catching the fleet on the beat, then tacking downwind, asymmetric set, picking off easy prey.

Meanwhile, Iona, showing true race spirit, twice flipped her Laser in powerboat wake, remounted and finished well.

At the slow end, regulars Julian and Harriet in a Drascombe Dabber, embraced the tranquillity, set up picnic, communed with porpoise and seals and scraped home in the time limit scooping the open class trophy!

Jeremiah Roberts, one of our first year sailors, in his Mirror dinghy, sailing his first race, beat the clock to finish a worthy 4th in class and wins the Rat Trophy for ‘outstanding achievement’.

A drift down St. Mary’s North shore on the tide , then, at last! a steady breeze from Old Town on to the finish. Keith and Ned in ‘Shag’, first to cross in 2 hours 52 mins. Followed by Carol and Helen in ‘Venus’ battling with James and Ellen in ‘Fantastic’ up the ‘Cressa shore.

Jason and crew next, in the 5000, having caught all but the leading Redwings.

Ben and Toby Hicks 5th in Spirit, 6th Ian and Fran in ‘Rosewing’. New club member Charlie Whelan and Hugh ,showing well in the rebuilt club Wayfarer a minute ahead of Dave and Abbey in ‘Ballerina’. 7th Iona’s Laser1. Dave and Julie’s Hunter Sonata close to Steve and Chris in a Wayfarer and10 minutes before Matt and Jo in the Wanderer.

Our faithful timekeepers, Lisa and Anthony remained on station to finish Julian and Harriet’s Dabber 20 minutes on, and last but decidedly not least, Jeremiah and crew dad, in ‘Griffin’ 11foot Mirror dinghy.

As always a great day on St. Agnes. Sunshine, Good food and drinks at the Turk’s head, overlooking the moored boats, swimmers and kayaks. The excellent ‘Pie Trio’ playing their Jazz funk.

Thanks to the Scillonian Sailing Club organisers, especially Carol, Fran, Mark and Ben Hicks.

Rescue cover. Nick Gould, John Brookes, Peter and Paul.

Starters, Alan and Mike courtesy of the Harbour office.

Finishers Lisa and Anthony.

Prize Presenter. John Brookes ( Brookes and Adams)

Finally commiserations to all who didn’t finish.


Open Class. On handicap.

1st. Julian and Harriet Cass Dabber

2nd. Iona Willows Laser Radial

3rd. Charlie and Hugh Wayfarer

4th. Jeremiah & Phil Roberts Mirror 11 ‘Griffin’

5th. Matt and Jo Wanderer

6th. Steve and Chris Wayfarer

7th. Jason Poat and crew Laser 5000


1st ‘Shag’ Keith and Ned Buchanan

2nd. ‘Venus’ Carol and Helen Shave

3rd. ‘Fantastic’ James Fletcher and Ellen Clark

4th. ‘Spirit’ Ben and Toby Hicks

5th. ‘Rosewing Ian Sibley and Fran Clark

6th. ‘Ballerina’ Dave and Abbey Brookes


1st. Redwing

1st. boat home Keith and Ned Buchanan ‘Shag’ ‘Mawer Trophy’

1st. boat on handicap

1st. boat Open class Julian and Harriet Cass 'Dabber’ ‘Deacon Trophy’

1st. Lady Helm Carol and Helen Shave ‘Venus’ ‘Jumbo Trophy’

1st Junior Helm Iona Willow Laser Tregarthen Trophy

Special Endeavour Jeremiah Roberts Mirror Rat Trophy


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