We catch up with our colleagues and readers along the course as they accelerate towards the finish of this year's Round the Island

As the first of the fleet have reached St Helen’s Fort after rounding Bembridge Ledge, Cityindex Maximus is set to take line honours with trimaran Nuka Hiva II close behind her.

After a slow start, the conditions have really picked up. We have just heard from Alan Warren and Andrew Bray aboardFirefly, just rounding St Catherine’s Point. Although an experienced sailor, this is the first time Alan has taken part in the race. “We had a very quiet, slow start but now we’re cramping along at 20 knots, we have excellent conditions a flat sea and blue skies. The race has really been fantastic, I am having a great day”

I also managed to catch up with one of our readers, Andrew Marjoribanks, a Round the Island Race veteran. His crew are sailing in the race today and heading straight on after the finish to bringVaren, their classic racing yacht back to the Clyde for the summer. “We are getting on well now in these conditions, we didn’t expect this today. It is hard to tell how we’re doing within our class as we haven’t seen many of them.” I asked him what his tactics were to compensate for the light winds at the start of the race “we kept close in towards the Royal Yacht Squadron and close in all the way to the needles and then tacked out wide.”

Stay tuned to www.yachtingmonthly.com as the first boats reach the finish.