Amateur and champion sailors from around the world - including Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon - have set off to battle the elements and each other in one of the world's classic yacht races.
A total of 285 yachts are competing in the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race 2005 which set off from the Cowes Week yachting festival, on the Isle of Wight, yesterday.
The fleet, which is the largest to compete since 1979, head into the English Channel and along the South-west coast of England in the battle to complete the 608-mile course and be first past the finish post in Plymouth.
The race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing club, pits sailors against tricky currents and changeable weather conditions in the English Channel. In 1979, the biggest fleet of 303 yachts were caught in a vicious storm and 17 sailors were killed.
Competition is stiff for the two main prizes - the Fastnet Challenge Cup and the Fastnet Rock Trophy. There are also more than 30 other trophies to be awarded, with the prize giving ceremony taking place at the Royal Citadel in Plymouth, next Friday.
Le Bon has been reunited with 20 members of his original crew which competed in the Fastnet Race in 1985 - a race that almost cost them their lives.
His yacht, Drum, capsized in bad weather off the coast of Falmouth. It lost its keel sending the yacht upsidedown, trapping the singer and other crew members inside the hull for 40 minutes.
Le Bon has borrowed the same boat, now called The Arnold Clark Drum, for the race from the current owner, Scottish entrepreneur, Sir Arnold Clark.
Le Bon said: "I'm not afraid but I do think when we pass the point where the keel fell off we will feel a bump inside us and feel vindicated about doing the whole thing again.
"Taking part again is nothing as cliched as unfinished business, it's more about getting an old bunch of friends together."
Le Bon is also hoping by participating in the race again to raise awareness and funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.