The fleet for the 704-mile BMW Round Ireland Race has exceeded organisers' expectations and presently stands at 47 boats from five countries.
A number of other boats have also expressed interest and the start on Saturday 26 June is likely to have one of the largest ever turnouts in the 24-year history of the race.
David NIXON'S 02 Team Spirit sailing for Howth Yacht Club as line honours and overall race win contender now has a serious rival in French owner/skipper Jean-Phillipe CHOMETTE on his 60-foot Solune, fresh from breaking the Round Britain and Ireland record.
But the overall race title is decided on corrected handicap (IRC) time and the fleet holds plenty of potential to challenge the big boat entries.
Eamon CROSBIE'S Kerr 32-footer Voodoo Chile, sailing as Calyx Voice & Data is one of the smallest boats but has a well-prepared team and is the current Class 0 Irish Champion.
Piet VROON'S Tonnerre de Bresken's, the 52-footer that won the 2001 Fastnet Race is a regular offshore racing yacht entered under the Royal Ocean Racing Club burgee and is one of three Dutch entries.