Slade breaks his own record

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The Independent Online
As soon as Mike Slade had broken by 23min and 15sec his own record, set in 1991 by his 80-footer Ocean Leopard, for the 52-mile Round the Island Race, he was ready to say that the new time of 5hr 12 min 3sec could itself easily be bettered.

On a blustery day that had nerves tingling for the nearly 10,000 crewing on the 1,368 entries, especially on the choppy run from the Needles at the western end of the Isle of Wight to St Catherine's Point on the south side, Slade's 84-foot maxi Hoya Longobarda delivered to its sponsor for the day a perfect present.

With Chris Law at the helm they hammered out of the Solent on a strengthening westerly breeze without ever having to tack and then, with the gusts climbing above 25 knots, handled the spinnaker run with verve and determination.

Behind them the Firebird 26 catamaran Orion was capsizing, two crewmen were being recovered from the water, and, with even the experienced occasionally rolling out of control, there were various dismastings and sail damage, along with hearts to be relocated from mouths back to chests.

Producing one of its best performances was Tony Todd's Ed Dubois-designed 50-footer Eagle, chartered by Doug Flynn, with the likes of Stuart Childerley, John Boyce and Kelvin Rawlings to guide it to the top prize of overall winner and the Gold Roman Bowl.

HOYA ROUND THE ISLAND RACE (Island Sailing Club, Cowes): Gold Roman Bowl: R Elliot and D Flynn (Eagle). Class 1: 1 Elliot and Flynn; 2, S Fein (Full Pelt); 3 S Bailey (Arbitrator). Class 2: 1 C Brown (Billy J Whizz); 2 R Clabbum (Rulor II); 3 H Evans (Alvine IX). Class 3: 1 S Hawthorn (Jump the Gun); 2 C Hall (Boysterous); 3 J Capard (CNC Lebrun). Class 4: A Webster (Quencher); 2 B van Bilderbeek (Solent Plexus); 3 F Walker (Pavlova III). Class 5: J Macgregor (Flair II); 2 A Pearce (Magnum); 3 N and G Colboume (Arion). Sportsboats: 1 A O'Leary (Ford Racing); 2 T Richardson (Premier Cru); 3 M de St Parr (Highlander).