Tomorrow's Wight race bigger than ever

An incredible 1,908 boats are due to participate in the Round the Island Race on Saturday 25 June.

There will be an early start for the first of the fleet when musical and TV star Denise Van Outen fires the gun at 0600 at the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes.

The 50nm course runs via the Needles, St Catherine’s Point and Bembridge to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight.

The first finishers are expected back at around 0930 and all boats must complete the course by 2200 to qualify for a result.

Taking part this year are Dame Ellen MacArthur, on one of her cancer charity’s six competing boats, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on a Clipper 68, and several Olympians including triple gold medallist Ben Ainslie. Teenage record-breakers Mike Perham and Jessica Watson are sailing together for the first time.

And, not least (and hopefully not last either), David Harding will be out there wielding the waterborne PBO camera, and deputy editor David Pugh and features editor Ben Meakins will be racing each other to see who takes the magazine’s own top spot!

Photo: Round The Island Race 2010, JP Morgan