Record-breaking will be on the agenda today as a clutch of Open 60s joins Skandia Cowes Week for a 50-mile dash round the Isle of Wight.
All of the British contingent for the Vendée Globe singlehanded round the world race will be on parade as Jonny Malbon's new Artemis makes its debut and Samantha Davies joins Dee Caffari on Aviva as her Roxy is given final preparations in France.
While Malbon will be easing his re-masted boat into full trim ahead of setting off the next day for a 4,500-mile qualifier for the Vendee, Volvo Race winner Mike Sanderson will be joining the crew of Brian Thompson's Pindar, Alastair Campbell is with Malbon's earlier Artemis, and Davina McCall renews a link with Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss.
The winner of the eight, which also includes Mike Golding's Ecover, picks up £10,000 for a favourite charity. England rugby star James Haskell has already donated £2,000 to the Help the Heroes fund and two war-injured from the Headley Court hospital facility will be sailing on Pindar.
Seb Josse, skippering Ellen MacArthur's BT, expects fast, if wet, conditions and will be hoping to set a record time with a co-operative breeze, which was again in testing form yesterday.
It was the turn of Paul Campbell-James to do a somersault in Shirley Robertson's Extreme 40 JP Morgan as Ed Baird in Alinghi won the iShares Cup. Tim Powell steered the TP52 Ran to its unbeaten third victory, by 26 seconds over Charles Dunstone's Rio, and took the Bossom Challenge Cup.
A handful of masts came down, the sail repairers were having a field day, and Louise Morton with an all-woman crew, had "the best race of my life" hanging on to drive her quarter-tonner Espada to a thumping win under spinnaker in 28 knots of wind.