JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race - Latest

The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race takes place on Saturday 20th June. Entries closed at noon on Saturday 13th June and this year's total of 1,779 is the fourth highest in the 78-year history of the race. Late entries have joined the Extreme 40 catamaran class whose skippers and crew read like a "Who's Who" of yacht racing.

On JPMorgan Asset Management/TEAMORIGIN, triple Olympic gold medallist and TEAMORIGIN America's Cup sailor Ben Ainslie takes the helm with Mike Sanderson (TEAMORIGIN Team Director and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper) calling the tactics. George Skudos, TEAMORIGIN's mastman, will be on pit whilst Matt Cornwell takes up his usual expert role as bowman. Ben Ainslie said:

"I'm really looking forward to racing around the Island this year in an Extreme 40 - as the name suggests it should be a wild ride. The multihull start is definitely going to be interesting, lining up against the likes of Francis Joyon on Idec and of course the four other Extreme 40s who all seem to have some pretty hot talent on them! I have a great team onboard so we are hoping for some good winds and a fast finish time."

Russell Coutts will enjoy his first experience of the Round the Island Race aboard Team Aqua. He has never done this race before although it has always been on his list. Coutts has won the America's Cup as a skipper three times and gained gold in the Finn class in the 1984 Olympic Games. His achievements include three World Match Racing Championships, numerous international match race wins and IOR, IMS and one-design victories. In 2005 he translated his long-standing passion for yacht design into a light-displacement 44-foot boat, the RC44, which is making its mark as a one-design class. He is joined on Team Aqua by fellow New Zealander Cameron Appleton, a regular helmsman/tactician on the Extreme 40 circuit, and owner Chris Bake.

There will be two Omani X40s in the race. Oman Sail Renaissance is currently lying third in the iShares Cup skippered by Loick Peyron. The crew for the Round the Island Race includes British Tornado champions Andrew Walsh (skipper and helm) and Ed Barney, Greg Homann, 18-foot skiff champion and Sydney-Hobart winner, with Gordon Whitley and Mubarak, both from Oman. Oman Sail Masirah has Mumm 30 and Open 60 sailor Pete Cumming as skipper. The crew comprises Chris Draper, third in Athens in the 49er fleet, Olympic Tornado contender Mark Bulkeley, Freddie Carr, an America's Cup TEAMORIGIN and Victory Challenge member and Khamis, also from Oman.

TornadoSport comes from Holland with skipper Herbert Derckson, three times Formula 18 catamaran World Champion.

The state-of-the-art Extreme 40s first appeared in the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race in 2006 when Holmatro took podium place. The following year Dame Ellen MacArthur won the class in a time of 4 hours 6 minutes 3 seconds. TEAMORIGIN led the entire fleet back in 2008, in a better time of 3 hours 23 minutes 50 seconds, but still some 15 minutes outside the multihull race record set by Francis Joyon in 2001.

Date Added - 17-Jun-2009

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