Sailors from across Hampshire have signed up for the world-famous Round the Island Race taking place on June 29, 2019.
More than 1,500 boats are expected to participate in the sailing race around the Isle of Wight this year, including almost 200 boats from Hampshire to date.
Sailors from the south coast make up more than fifth of entries at this year’s race, with more than 300 boats from coastal counties competing.
Known as a ‘race for all’, the Round the Island Race attracts celebrities and professional sailors as well as families and first-time sailors from around the world.
Participating sailors will have an opportunity to compete for nearly 200 prizes, with classes available for monohulls, multihulls, Gaffers, Classics and dayboats.
The family-friendly event is expected to draw thousands of spectators to the Isle of Wight for the weekend, where they will be able to enjoy spectacular views from Cowes, St Catherine’s Point, Ventnor, Bonchurch, Culver Down and Ryde Pier.
People will also be able to keep track of family and friends onshore by using the race tracking service on the official website, provided courtesy of Raymarine, the Official Race Tracking Partner.
The Round the Island Race will be supporting The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust as its official race charity, which raises funds to help young people rebuild their lives after cancer treatment. The Round the Island Race is being sponsored by Helly Hansen, Raymarine, MS Amlin and Chelsea Magazines.
An entertainment programme will provide a festival of sailing at the race village in Cowes and include live music and an array of food stalls. This will start at midday on Friday, June 28.
Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, David Atkinson said: ‘We’re really pleased to have received such a high level of interest from residents across Hampshire.
‘We are looking forward to welcoming returning families that have taken part many times over the years as well as first-timers looking for an adventure.
‘The Round the Island Race is a unique event because it provides an opportunity for families to compete alongside professional sailors and celebrities and most importantly, have fun. The Round the Island Race brings people together onshore as well at our race village, where people will be able to enjoy live entertainment.’
Sailors interested in participating in the event are able to enter online. For more information about the race please visit: roundtheisland.org.uk