At least 995 boats are set to take part in this year's Skandia Life Cowes Week - making the 2001 event the largest regatta ever seen at Cowes, Isle of Wight, Great Britain.
With entries still coming in, the organisers at Cowes Combined Clubs are expecting the record entry to reach 1000 boats before the first gun on Saturday morning.
The previous highest entry was in 1997 when the regatta received 914 entries. The entry number for 2001 beats last year's total of 890 by more than 100 boats.
Racing kicks off on Saturday morning at 10:00 with a special one-off race for six Thames Barges. More used to carrying haystacks up the narrow, winding rivers and inland waterways of Britain, the Barges will be an unusual sight in the frantic waters of the Solent.
Half an hour later, the serious racing boats of IRC Classes 0 & 1 get underway. They'll be competing on Saturday for the prestigious Queen's Cup and will probably be led away from the start line by the huge 90ft ocean racing maxi yacht Skandia Life Leopard. The Southampton-built Riechel Pugh designed yacht is unique and has been designed as an ultimate, high performance racer capable of beating the fastest yachts in the world. The standard of luxury on board rivals that of the best superyachts thanks to the latest construction and engineering techniques developed by Ocean Marine and an interior scheme by Ken Freivokh Designs.
Back at the Royal Yacht Squadron start line, 30 more classes will start at 5 minute intervals for their own individual races. (Click here for a complete schedule of starts). Right at the end of the sequence comes the X One Design Class. 73 of these ever popular boats are racing at Skandia Life Cowes Week, making them the most numerous of fleets and ensuring that their starts are among the most exciting - and entertaining - of the day!