22 May 2019

Excitement builds for 2019 Carey Olsen Inter-Island Yacht Race

Sailing enthusiasts from across Guernsey and Jersey are making final preparations ahead of Saturday's 2019 Carey Olsen Inter-Island Yacht Race, which this year marks 10 years of Carey Olsen as headline sponsor.

At the deadline for race entries earlier today, organisers were able to confirm that 65 yachts were set to make it to the start line in Jersey for the race across to Guernsey and the finish line at Castle Cornet. The day will end with Carey Olsen hosting a '10-year' celebratory supper and presentation ceremony at the Guernsey Yacht Club, which will have a pirates theme. Attendees are encouraged to come along in fancy dress.

Conditions currently look like they will be less windy than predicted earlier in the week. Forecasts vary, but crews are currently looking at light winds of around 10 knots or a force 2 to 3 from north to west. It means it will most likely be a 'white sail race', but local weather effects can often change all that. In such light winds the serious racing sailors will be studying the weather information closely before the race looking for tactical advantages and which way to go to make the most of the wind and the tides. Such decisions can often have dramatic consequences in terms of speed and results.

John Falla, Commodore of the Guernsey Yacht Club, said: "Skippers are likely to be selecting their light weather sails to suit the conditions, while the less serious sailors will be able to look forward to a great day on the water without the strong winds that sometime feature in this race. Many boats have also been seen drying out to ensure that their hulls are as clean and as fast as possible for this event, which is considered the race to win in local sailing circles.

"Inter-island rivalry will be intense for both overall results, the Sir James Knott Trophy, and the team trophies. The result, however, is always difficult to predict, and lighter winds always offer the opportunity for radical tactics to produce surprise results."

Sun of a Gun, skippered by Simon Hughes, Peter Lloyd and Richard Holmes, was the big winner in last year's race. The Guernsey yacht won the overall – which is calculated on a handicap system – ahead of Richard Babbé's Mr Scarecrow, Mick Holland's Majic and Roger Martel's Kaya, completing a Guernsey top four. Philip Burton's Arctic Tern was the best placed Jersey vessel in fifth.

Jersey boat Aquafly, skippered by Jeff Speller took line honours (first to finish) in a time of two hours, 58 minutes and 20 seconds. In the fast cats, winner of the Shearwater Trophy was Andy Hart.