A total of 1,735 boats are expected to take part in the HOYA Round the Island Race; follow the action here

A total 1,735 boats are expected to take part in the HOYA Round the Island Race including four America’s Cup Class yachts, Josh Hall’s Open 60 Gartmore, the Whitbread 60 Sunergy and Mike Slade’s 92 ft super-sloop Skandia Leopard. Racing begins at 0800hrs, with staggered starts throughout the morning until 1000hrs.

As rain sweeps the start line, oilskins and boots are the order for the day. The wind is a light southerly, force three at best, with a small, confused chop. On a positive note, the sun is trying to break through and the organisers are optimistic for a brighter afternoon.

Russell Peters’ overgrown dinghy, the Ultra 30 Reloaded Red Square, will be taking on Skandia Leopard, over three times the size of his Ultra 30. A late entry from Britain’s silver medallists Ian Barker and his crew Simon Hiscocks, competing on board an Ultra 30, HOYA, will attempt to give Russell Peters a run for his money. Barker said, “When I heard that Russell Peters, who won this class last year, was going to be going for the race record on Reloaded Red Square, I couldn’t resist the challenge of putting my own team in the running.”

Other well-known sailors competing in this year’s race include Iain Percy, Adrian Stead on board the America’s Cup yacht GBR Challenge and Shirley Robertson skippering the Swan 48 Jacobite.

Yachting World and the ybw.com team is out on the water to bring you live reports and pictures from the event. More news later.For a portfolio of over 150 photographs from today’s action, click here