CELEBRATED yacht Gipsy Moth IV was one of a record 140 boats which set off from Cowes this morning (Saturday) to compete in this this weekend's Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) famous Myth of Malham Race.

With over 900 crew from all over the world competing, from world class sailors to passionate corinthians, there is a huge variety of yachts taking part, including; hi-tech racing yachts and multihulls, performance cruising yachts and classic designs, alongside 36 teams taking it on two-handed.

A notable entry for the Myth of Malham Race — from Cowes to Eddystone Light and back — is the 53ft ketch, Gipsy Moth IV.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Myth of Malham Race route.The Myth of Malham Race route.

In 1966-67, Sir Francis Chichester circumnavigated with Gipsy Moth IV in 274 days, setting the fastest voyage around the world by any small vessel.

In 2004, the UKSA once owned Gipsy Moth IV, paying £1 and a gin and tonic (Sif Francis Chichester's favourite tipple).

Aptly, for the Myth of Malham Race, Gipsy Moth IV was co-designed by John Illingworth, who commissioned the Laurent Giles 37'6” sloop Myth of Malham, which won the Fastnet Race in 1947, 1949 and 1957, and who was part of the winning team for the first Admiral's Cup.

The overall and class winners are decided by the IRC rating rule.

The 2019 Myth of Malham Race got under way from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 8am, with spectators watching the spectacle from Cowes Parade and The Green, with tidal conditions favouring he faster boats out of The Solent, with today's forecast suggesting wind will go towards the west later in the race and strengthen, which should give some good results in the small to medium size and boats and good conditions for the sail back from the Eddystone Light.

Fans can follow the progress of the fleet via YB Tracking on the RORC website: http://www.rorc.org