THE annual Round the Island Race takes place tomorrow (Saturday), with Islanders flocking to view nearly 1,200 boats and more than 10,000 sailors race around the Isle of Wight for the event's 90th anniversary.

It is believed to be the biggest mass participation event staged since the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown.

Sailor and Helly Hansen ambassador Pip Hare will be firing the cannon at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, for the first start at 6.30am.

The race is listed as the fourth largest sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Run.

Showers and south-westerly winds forecast for Round the Island race

Here are five of the best spots to view the race from.

Ventnor Winter Gardens

Unburdened views and a tranquil beach soundscape provide an ideal location to take in the big race.

A popular vantage point for the event, a steep decline takes you to the main seafront and a completely different perspective of the boats.

The Winter Gardens are within a couple of minutes of the start of the town centre, offering the chance to bookend boat viewing with a roam towards Ventnor's quirky shops.

Culver Cliff

The steep walk and winding paths of this chalk cliff make captivating viewing in their own right, but also offer a bird's eye view of the beaches along Culver Parade and through to Sandown.

Despite being a hotspot for dog walkers, the paths and fields are generally in pristine condition.

With easy to follow signposting around the area, an ice cream stop and watering hole, this is a delightful area to take in the boats while taking a load off.

The Needles

One of the Island's most iconic attractions, The Needles offers wide-ranging views of the race as it passes by.

Watching from the chairlifts is absolutely breathtaking for those happy to spend a little more money.

In addition, even the journey there can bring sparkle to your day, with buses including the Needles Breezer offering a glorious open-top sighter.

Viewpoint car park, Niton

Based in Niton, the Viewpoint car park above Blackgang Chine is not your usual concrete jungle filled with vehicles.

Stunning high altitude perspectives of the boat race are visible, while the amount of space on offer ensures social distancing shouldn't be too difficult.

Just be aware, there are no toilets on site, so going before you make the journey is advised!

Appley Beach, Ryde

One of the Island's most popular stretches of sand, a myriad of attractions such as Appley Tower – which would also be a fantastic viewpoint if accessible – are right on your proverbial doorstep.

If the weather plays ball, visitors will be able to relax and soak in some rays as they view the race.

It can get busy and there is currently some work being done near the car park, but the clean and welcoming golden sands provide a good excuse for a staycation.

Where will you be watching the Round the Island Race and do you have any recommendations for good viewpoints?

Let us know in the comment section below.