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Top British sailors take on Round the Island Race with Volvo Car UK: The Team Volvo boat races past The Needles, the Isle of Wight's most iconic landmark.
London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience is set to compete in this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race tomorrow, Saturday 21 June alongside BBC TV commentator David Dimbleby. Luke will be joined by his crew, double World Champion Elliot Willis and top British Finn sailor, Mark Andrews onboard a Farr 65 racing yacht.

Volvo Car UK is the official car supplier of the Round the Island Race, an annual 50 nautical mile yacht race around the Isle of Wight, which is unique in that complete novices can race against Olympians and professional sailors. The Race regularly attracts over 1,500 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world and one of the largest participation sporting events in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.

Luke and Elliot recently teamed up in February of this year when Luke’s former crew, double Olympic silver medallist Joe Glanfield, made the decision to retire from Olympic sailing. The UK’s top 470 men’s team has been training hard to make up on lost time, and their campaign to win gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is off to a flying start. The pair has been consistently leading the fleet at every major international regatta they have competed in and just recently won their first gold medal together on home waters at the Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth at the beginning of June. The Team Volvo sailors have been selected to compete at the 2014 Olympic Test Event in Rio this summer.

Luke commented: “I don’t get a chance to do much big boat sailing, but it is something I really enjoy. I like the strange calmness you get on a yacht going upwind, which is why I am excited to do my first Round the Island Race with Volvo Car UK. I am looking forward to seeing all the hundreds of boat everywhere and the whole spectacle of the Race.”

As one of the UK’s top men’s heavyweight Finn sailors, Mark Andrews acted as Sir Ben Ainslie’s training partner for the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Mark also helped set a new Round the Island Race multihull record last year by completing the Race in 2 hours 52 minutes and 15 seconds on board J.P. Morgan BAR’s AC45 catamaran in 2013.

BBC TV commentator and presenter of the BBC’s long-running programme ‘Question Time’, David Dimbleby, will join the Team Volvo Farr 65 after firing 0620 first start gun from the Royal Yacht Squadron platform on the morning of the race. David, who will be joined by his 16-year old son Fred, is a keen sailor who previously took part in the Round the Island Race in the 1960s. He currently does most of his sailing in the South West on his boat ‘Rocket’, which he had custom built in 1980.

The top British sailors will be on the Volvo Car UK stand in the Cowes Yacht Haven after the Race on Saturday to talk about their Olympic campaign and sign autographs. Stop by to meet the Team Volvo sailors and find out more about the latest Volvo range, including the XC60, V40 Cross-country and V60 Plug-in hybrid, the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid technology.

Follow the Team Volvo boat as it races around the island on the official GPS tracking page

Photo : Team Volvo
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