New Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award

Records were broken in 2008. Not only did Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard achieve a new monohull race time but the race also attracted the biggest ever entry in its 78-year history at 1,875. Conditions were challenging for newcomers and hardened racers alike, particularly south of the Isle of Wight, where a brisk south-westerly gusting to 30 knots created big seas off St Catherine's Point.

The weather took its toll on boats, equipment and sailors, keeping the rescue organisations busy, but Solent Coast Guard reported there were no more incidents than on a normal breezy Saturday. Sailors also came to the assistance of sailors, whether racers, cruisers or fishermen. One particular rescue involved the Beneteau First 40.7 from Britannia Events, Rocket Dog, which executed a superb emergency stop on a fast spinnaker reach, to recover a 1720 crewmember from the water, in true textbook fashion. On hearing of this, Nautica Watches made a presentation to skipper Charlie Williams for his "timely" rescue.

In 2009 the Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award will be introduced which will be presented for an act of outstanding seamanship taking place on the day of the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. The award is not only open to competitors but also spectators, members of the emergency services and race officials. The judging panel will include Gavin Crilly-McKean from Nautica Watches, Simon Boulding from Britannia Corporate Events and the RYA's Dave Atkinson.
Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, Bill Pimlott said: "The ISC is delighted that Nautica Watches has decided to make this award to recognise outstanding seamanship during the event. Such recognition is timely.

Rocket Dog was not alone in giving emergency assistance on the day. One competitor in 2008 was even able to win his class as well as recover a man overboard from another yacht. The Club is grateful to all those who, in keeping with the rules of the sea, did not think twice about lending a hand to others in distress. These included non-participants such as dive and fishing boats as well as family cruisers out to watch the race. I would also like to thank the emergency services for the speedy and efficient manner in which they handled the various incidents."

Nominations for the award can come from participants, spectators, race officials or members of the emergency services. They should be submitted to Simon Boulding at Britannia Events by email (simon@britanniaevents.co.uk) by 5pm on Wednesday 24th June 2009. The winner will be announced by 26th June and will receive a Nautica watch as well as the trophy.

Date Added - 24-Feb-2009


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