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Round the Island Race 2007

26th June 2007

A record number of yachts completed this year's Round the Island Race with Dame Ellen MacArthur skippering an Extreme 40 catamaran to first place.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, sailing the Xtreme 40 catamaran JPMorgan Asset Management, took line honours in this year’s race.At times the catamaran hit 25 knots boat speed and the crew completed the course in just over four hours.

The crew included BBC South presenter Jo Kent who joined around 14,500 other sailors as the the race got underway at 5am, started by celebrity gardener and boating enthusiast Alan Titchmarsh.

Dame Ellen was racing in aid of the Ellen MacArthur Trust which raises money to give children and teenagers who are recovering or in remission from cancer the experience of sailing. She said: "It's fantastic to be across the finish line. We had a great race, it was quite hairy for us around the south side of the Island. But it was great fun, and everyone had a great time."

The Round the Island Race is renowned as the 'London Marathon' of the sailing world as leisure sailors line up alongside the world's best racing yachts.

Nearly 1,800 yachts started this year's race with many crews racing in aid of chosen charities.

All eyes were also on Mike Slade's brand new 100 footer ICAP Leopard which was the first monohull to finish at 9.23am just over 18 minutes off the record that Mike himself set in 2001. Other big names from the world of sailing included Dee Caffari, Sir Robin Knox Johnson and Shirley Robertson Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year, Katie Miller, and Dan Monk encountered problems with gear failure throughout the day but had soldiered on to complete the course, and in so doing helped their chosen charity, The Ellen Macarthur Trust.

Around 14,500 sailors across the whole spectrum of the sport lined up on the start line at Cowes, making this the fourth largest participative, annual, UK event, after the London Marathon, Great North and Great South Runs.

The winner of the Island Sailing Club's famous Gold Roman Bowl was Winchester's Edward Donald in his Folkboat, Madelaine.

Edward's crew for the race were Rob Reed and Dan Rigden.  They all met through their children who all attend Weston School. The boat is named after Edward’s 10 year old daughter, Maddie.

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