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Sir Ben Ainslie at the helm in the race around the Isle of Wight

Sir Ben Ainslie at the helm of Rebel during the J P Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire
Yachts pass The Needles during the J P Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire
Sir Ben Ainslie at the helm of Rebel in the race around the Isle of Wight Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

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Sails fill The Solent in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race

Chalk cliffs tower over the yacht crews as they approach The Needles Credit: OnEdition
The Solent speckled with sails as the fleet heads off on the JP Morgan Round the Island Race Credit: OnEdition
The JP Morgan Round the Island Fleet pass The Needles Credit: OnEditioin
Boats racing past the well known landmark of the island. The St Catherines Lighthouse for the JP Morgan Round the Island Race 2014. Credit: OnEdition
Tthe fleet bunch up near the Needles in light winds at the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2014. Credit: OnEdition

Nearly 1,600 yachts prepare to take place in the Round the Island Race

Sunrise last year as yachts prepared to compete in the Round the Island Race off Cowes, Isle of Wight. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is the largest yacht race of its kind in the world - it's also one of the the largest participation sports held in the UK every year. Professionals and amateur sailors from across the world take part, all competing on equal terms.

This Saturday marks the 83rd edition of the Round the Island Race, hosted and run by the Cowes-based Island Sailing Club. The starting gun fires at 0630 sending the massive fleet from Cowes on the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight.

The Race started in 1931 with 25 boats and on Saturday 21st June - the longest day - there will be in excess of 1580 yachts competing.

Sir Ben says sailing centre will 'add to Portsmouth's history'

Despite some local opposition over his new world class centre for sailing excellence ahead of the 35th America's Cup, Sir Ben Ainslie says he's confident that 'Portsmouth is where we want to be'. He spoke to Fred Dinenage on ITV News Meridian.

His team have also marked two sites in Southampton for the sailing nerve centre for America's Cup but say Old Portsmouth would be preferred.

The new design shows the potential for a high-tech training centre in Old Portsmouth, which would serve as a base for sailors to host the America's Cup in years to come.

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