Even if you're not racing in this year's Hoya Round The Island Race, there's plenty excellent observation points to watch the race from.

This year’s 65th Hoya Round The Island Race, one of the biggest yacht races in the world with nearly 2,000 yachts and over 12,000 competitors, will take place on Saturday 16 June 2001. The first group of boats will start at 8:00 off the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line at Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The 50 nautical mile race, anticlockwise around the island, is a unique event appealing to yachtsmen of differing persuasions. The club sailor races against international sailing celebrities such as the America’s Cup and Olympic sailing elite. Spectators too can enjoy this amazing sight as 2,000 yachts do battle in The Solent competing for the main trophy, the highly prestigious Gold Roman Bowl.

This year’s best observation points and approximate timings are:

Island Vantage Points, Nearest Town

0800 – 1000 (Start) Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes

0930 – 1100 Sconce Point, Yarmouth

1000 – 1130 The Needles, Yarmouth or Brighstone

1130 – 1400 St Catherine’s Point, Chale

1145 – 1500 Ventnor & Bonchurch, Ventnor

1200 – 1615 Culver Down, Sandown

1300 – 1745 Ryde Pier, Ryde

1230 – 2100 (FINISH) Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes Mainland Vantage Points

0930 – 1100 Hurst Point, Milford-on-Sea

1200 – 1800 Gilkicker Point, Gosport

Anyone wishing to participate in the 65th Hoya Round the Island Race 2001 can obtain further information and entry forms from either the Island Sailing Club on 01983 296911 or from the website, along with other useful information on the race, ratings, tides and on the sponsor Hoya Lens UK Ltd, at www.hoyaroundtheisland.org.uk.