Keen sailors are busy preparing for the biggest event in the Channel Islands sailing calendar, the Carey Olsen Inter-Island Yacht Race, which is now just days away.
The race, which alternates in direction every year, will begin on Saturday 7 June at 08:00am outside Guernsey’s St. Peter Port harbour and the fleet will head down to Corbiere before heading along Jersey’s south coast and crossing the finish line in St Helier.
The forecast weather conditions look challenging which suggests that a highly competitive and tactical race is to be expected.
Julian Barber, Commodore of the St Helier Yacht Club, said: “If forecasts are correct this year is going to be very tricky for the racers. It is going to be both rainy and sunny on Saturday and the wind is currently due to start from a southerly direction, then go round to northwest and then from the west. It is likely to be very light, with patches where boats may be becalmed.
“For spectators in Jersey, the first boats may be rounding Corbiere around midday so good views of the fleet will be available from Noirmont. Based on the current wind forecast, the bulk of the fleet should be passing Noirmont between 3pm and 4pm.”
Once the yachts have completed the 24 miles to Jersey the race will be followed by a supper followed by a presentation of the prizes and the 450 crew are expected to dress up for a 1970s theme party with local band “Redwood”. Amongst the 29 prize categories include: the overall race winner, first bilge keel, first Melges 24, first Beneteau, first quarter tonner, first family boat, first J boat, first all-female crew and skipper, first young skipper, line honours and the Sir James Knott trophy has been re-introduced.
Alex Ohlsson, Carey Olsen’s managing partner who will also be a skipper in the race, said: “With the wind expected to be light it will be a very challenging race for everyone. It might feel a little slow and it will be a real test of skill and tactics but conditions should make for a very enjoyable day at sea. After the race we are looking forward to welcoming all the skippers and their crew at the prize giving evening when we will also be raising funds for Channel Islands Air Search and RNLI.”