This Saturday's event is promised to provide a 'festival of sailing' with lots to do ashore

More than 1,570 boats have entered this Saturday’s Round the Island Race and around 16,000 sailors are getting set to enjoy the world famous race.

Dubbed the ‘Race for All’, the event creates the unique spectacle of thousands of boats of all shapes and sizes, racing 50-plus nautical miles around the Isle of Wight Race.

The race starts and finishes in Cowes this Saturday, 21st June, with an early start for participants.

Sponsored by J.P. Morgan Asset Management and organised by the Island Sailing Club, the annual race regularly attracts sailors of all ages and abilities from across Great Britain, mainland Europe and from as far away as the USA.

It is one of the largest yacht races in the world and one of the largest participation sporting events in the UK, topped only by the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.

World renowned sailors taking part this year include Dame Ellen MacArthur, Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Also attending is Beijing gold medallist Pippa Wilson, plus Rio Olympic hopefuls Luke Patience and Elliot Willis, who will be swapping their 470 dinghy for a Farr 65 that they will be sailing with Question Time presenter David Dimbleby.

Where to watch

This weekend’s event is promised to provide a ‘festival of sailing’ with lots to do ashore. Spectators will be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment and superb vantage points on the mainland and around the Isle of Wight, such as the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hurst Castle and The Needles.

Friends and family can also monitor the race progress on the event website via a live Race Blog and live GPS Race Tracker.

Twitter users are encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #raceforall – for every tweet J.P Morgan will donate £1 to the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

PBO racers

PBO News Editor Laura is looking forward to joining the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust for the Round the Island Race.

PBO Deputy Editor Ben will be racing his own boat Polly, an IRC class Impala 28.

Good luck to everyone who is taking part, the Windguru forecast predicts light winds and sunshine.

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