More than 200 yachts crossed the start line off the Royal Yacht Squadron this morning including the J-Class and thirty-seven 12-Metres

With days of practice and final preparations behind them, 205 participants in the Jubilee competition crossed the start line this morning off the Royal Yacht Squadron. The vintage glamour yachts – three J-Class boats and the 23-Metre Class yacht Cambria – were the first eight classes to cross the RYS’s fixed line off the Castle at Cowes. Shamrock went high on starboard tack, making good progress down towards the Western Solent, while Velsheda led Endeavour on port. Cambria followed on their tail, cutting a striking contrast and an equally graceful sight.

Closely following the early starters were the big boats in the Modern IMS and IRC Classes and then vintage, classic and spirit of tradition classes. Each class got away from the start cleanly, which was probably due to the length of line and relatively small fleet sizes. In contrast to Cowes Week, for example, the ratio of competitor boats to spectator boats is vastly reversed, with spectator boats churning the Solent into a whirlpool.

The first casualty of the day was the ketch, Mari Cha III, the former New York to Lizard record-holder, who blew-out her genoa. Altogether there are 12 classes racing on three courses. Thirty-seven 12-Metres began their race in the vintage, modern and grand prix classes on a circle to the north-east of Cowes, however their races were called off due to the strong winds. For the same reason, the nine modern America’s Cup Class 80-footers which were set to do battle in the eastern Solent, were unable to race.

Racing is due to finish at 1400 through to 1430. The picture library will be capturing all the best moments, and will be live shortly.