YM's editor Sarah Norbury is in the thick of the Hoya Round the Island race aboard the Navigator & General Sunfast 36.

It appears that an army of sails are marching towards the Needles as the 1,735-strong Hoya Round the Island fleet make their way down the Western Solent. A ‘pick and mix’ variety of boats, from Crabbers to Maxis have all joined the throng in what epitomises the open and friendly atmosphere of this unique event.

From the ybw team boat, the sight of an old gaff-rigged fishing smack heading-up a Farr 40 through Hurst Narrows, wood against carbon, canvas against Kevlar, is as impressive as witnessing two Open 60s pressing to windward.

Making a good start in their class is the ybw/Navigators and General combined entry. The crew includes YM’s editor, Sarah Norbury, although she has yet to answer the phone from her perch on the weather rail – obviously enjoying the sail so much that reports will have to wait until later.

Fortunately, there has only been one reported incident until this report, timed at 1000. A sportsboat and a yacht collided injuring one crewmember and causing the sportsboat to loose its mast. The Yarmouth lifeboat was launched and transferred the crewmember who is thought to have a broken leg.

The weather is improving a little and the wind has increased a to a southerly Force 3/4, although the open sea is decidedly lumpy, and most of the fleet appear to be standing well off the Needles.For a portfolio of over 150 photographs from today’s action, click here