2023.09.02 - Round the Island Race

This Saturday was the day for this year's Round the Island Race, the only sailing race in Britain that goes over a main road. Or so I'm told. The idea is to sail, row or paddle around Mersea Island. It's a timed race and the earliest you could start this years was 11:30. The start line is from the WMYC to a marker buoy out in the channel and you can go either way around. When you start and which way you go depends on the vessel, the wind, the tide and the forecast.

The start is pretty tame. No-one started at 11:30 but a few hardy souls went off at 11:45.

No, the real fun is on the other side of the Island as all the competitors have to cross over the Strood. This year High Tide was at 14:40 with a height of 5.9 m above Lowest Astronomical Tide and that would put the water level around 3 feet above the level of the road.

We set off with the intention of arriving around 10:30 with our bikes in the back of the minibus. The early arrival meant that there was ample parking space in the City Road car park and we had time to get a cup of tea and something to eat around lunch time.

We unpacked the bikes and cycled to the Strood using the coast path which was a very nice ride. Having padlocked the bikes to the Island side of the Strood we walked over to the other side and up onto the coast path on that side of the Road and sat down to await the arrival of the boats.

It was a glorious hot sunny day and there were many people out for the spectacle.

The water has risen above the level of the road in this photo but not high enough to prevent cars from passing.

The Island of Mersea over in the distance the other side of the water.

A few clips take of the Strood underwater and you can see one boat setting off again having reached the road and been carried over and onto the other side.

This "flooding" happens around twice a month for a few days. If the High Tide is over 5m then the Strood will be underwater, all other things being equal.

We had a great day, the only fly in the ointment was me falling of my bike, Fortunately I landed on the grassy verge and didn't damage myself too much. Thankfully, I had turned on the hot tub before leaving so was able to soak in the hot water once we arrived home.