by Guest writer
The Round the Island Race is one of the most iconic races in the world and with thousands of boats taking part each year, I’ve always wanted to watch it from the water. When the opportunity arose to watch the amazing spectacle on the Solent from a yacht, I jumped at the chance!
It was an early start meeting at the pontoon, but the strong coffee and pastries dished out as soon as we were aboard the yacht really helped to wake us up! After a quick safety briefing from the skipper, we left the marina and headed out into the Solent.
We were soon in the thick of it as a wall of boats with their spinnakers flying approached us! The unusual wind for this year meant Solent spectators got to see this beautiful site, rather than the downwind sail being a the ‘back’ of the Isle of Wight. The hot weather was perfect for us as we watched the yachts sail past, all with a cool drink in hand!
We then headed down from just outside of Lymington to The Needles, passing the picturesque Hurst Castle on the way and waving to those watching the race from the beaches there. We moved as close as we could to The Needles and admired the uniquely coloured sands of Alum Bay too.
Next stop was Yarmouth, where we got off the yacht and straight onto a RIB for a thrilling ride to shore! It was quite a change from the leisurely pace of sailing, and everybody loved the speed as we headed into the quaint harbour. Lunch was a relaxed affair with more cooling drinks and delicious food. The RIB then took us back to the yacht and we headed out in to the Solent once more to watch even more racing boats as they passed us by.
After a leisurely couple of hours enjoying the sights and chatting with the skipper and hostess, we headed back to the marina just in time for a sundowner at the local bar. All in all, it was an unforgettable day.