THERE was an Isle of Wight connection with the winning vessel in the historic 90th Round the Island Race today (Saturday).

Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay was the first to finish the race, in a time of 4hrs 11mins 1sec.

Scroll down for a Round the Island Race video and hyperlapse of the start of the race this morning.

A light start to the race scuppered any conceivable chance of beating the race record, which was set by PowerPlay (as Concise 10) in 2017, in a time of 2hrs 22mins 23secs.

PowerPlay finished this year's race ahead of the ULTIM Actual and the 32m trimaran, IDEC.

WATCH: Video of Round the Island Race action

One of the crew hails from the Island — Tom Dawson, of Gurnard.

“Fantastic, unbelievable. The teamwork was absolutely flawless, especially tacking in the light winds to get out of The Solent," said Cunningham.

"The sail changes worked really, really well all the way around. We are absolutely delighted to come home first in this great race!”

Around 1,200 vessels lined up on a day full of thrills and spills for competitors — and the many thousands of spectators lined along the Isle of Wight coastline.

Isle of Wight County Press: The winning crew of PowerPlay, including Tom Dawson, of Gurnard.The winning crew of PowerPlay, including Tom Dawson, of Gurnard.

Many Cowes residents would have been given a slightly rude awakening at 6.30am this morning, with the race's traditional starting cannon, which boomed across The Solent from the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Renowned solo sailor, Pip Hare, had the honour of being this year's official race starter for the Island Sailing Club’s iconic 50 nautical mile annual race around the Isle of Wight.

She said: “It’s one of the big sailing events in the calendar — a race you never want to miss.

"The mass participation element means it’s an incredible sight and you get a fantastic feeling from being part of it, but also it’s a great race.

"The course offers so much. It’s technical, it’s tactical and the weather can be anything, so definitely a race I want to do every year. It’s like a mini round-the-world!”

With 7,000 sailors competing, the race is now considered the biggest mass participation event to be staged since the UK’s first lockdown a year ago.

One of the unique attractions of the race is its even-handedness and the opportunity for amateurs, families and club sailors of all ages to compete on the same race course alongside Olympic and world champion sailors.

The Island Sailing Club's race director, David Atkinson, said: “We’ve had every type of conditions possible — light winds/no wind, rain, fog, mist and sunshine, all of which makes the race an exciting challenge.

"That said, reports coming in from competitors indicate they’ve had a fantastic time on the water and have thoroughly enjoyed the day.”

Boats to continue to cross the finish line in Cowes. It’s likely the final competing boats will complete the course at around 8pm tonight.

The final results have yet to be determined — including the award of the coveted Gold Roman Bowl, one of sailings biggest prizes.

To stay up to date with the Round the Island Race, go to the event website