Clear skies over Cowes and whispers of cumulus cloud over the main land shore with a light northerly wind are a recipe for a southwesterly sea breeze to kick in this afternoon. The tell tale signs mean that the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race could have a champagne start with the 300 strong fleet encountering more wind than earlier predicted.
In Cowes Yacht haven, the competitors are gearing up for the off and the morning sunshine is spreading an infectious warm humour amongst the competing yachts, clustered in Cowes.
Joe Sutton skippering Corby 45, Incisor of Wight, was looking forward to the race with some relish. "We have competed in three qualifying RORC races this season, the Cervantes Trophy Race, the Myth of Malham Round Eddystone Race and the De Guingand Bowl Race, so we have done a fair few miles together and we are still talking. We all work for Gerald Ronson in London, but we are from all over the place. I am from Tipperarry and there are two other Irishman on the boat from Donegal and Cobh, the rest of the crew are from Scotland, England and Belgium. We all love to sail and we are looking for an enjoyable race and intend to make a good account of ourselves."