Chance to see crews and boats at Gunwharf Quays

Only the third ever Round Britain Powerboat Race starts on 21 June from Portsmouth.

The boats and crews will be at Gunwharf Quays a few days before the start making final preparations and undergoing scrutineering.

It is a chance to get close to some of the classic craft of yesteryear, painstakingly restored specially for the race, as well as some monster race boats from today’s most competitive series.

Alongside them will be a smattering of hardy production craft with crews of ordinary motorboaters. They will be pinching themselves as they line up against the biggest names in powerboating’s rich history.

They include the legendary Fabio Buzzi, who won the last race in 1984 and who has brought one of his own classic designs, Cesa, back to life for the event in a clear bid to retain the title. It will be powered by no less than four FTP diesel engines.

Apart from Buzzi, the pontoons will be awash with powerboating talent.

Watch out for his friend and rival Hannes Bohinc, one of the most experienced racers in the sport.

Or the co-holder of the outright Round Britain Speed Record, Scotsman Neil McGrigor who lives in Lymington. Having taken the record from Buzzi four years ago, Neil will be doing his utmost to be top of the podium in this event too.

MBY correspondent Derek Wynans is taking part on board another of the boats in the running for outright victory, Team Silverline.

Silverline has a superstar line-up of Drew Langdon, Jan Falkowski and Miles Jennings.

MBY man Derek, 35, is more than nervous and will be posting daily blogs giving a first-hand account of what it is like to race alongside the speedmeisters of the sport in an 80mph craft.

For three of the legs Derek will be jumping ship to sample a different side of the race aboard Ocean Pirate (pictured).

This classic craft took part in the first race, in 1969, and has been lovingly restored by enthusiast Mike Barlow.

Derek will be aboard when Ocean Pirate comes into its home port of Lowestoft on the way back to Portsmouth. It should be quite a welcome.

The race starts go at 9.30am and 10am from off Southsea, Portsmouth, running west down the Solent.

The first leg takes the 40-odd fleet to Plymouth, so depending on the weather any of the big Dorset and Devonshire headlands could prove excellent places to watch the boats thunder past.

It is an offshore race, though, so bring your binoculars!

For those who can’t catch it first hand, MBY will have full coverage in the run-up to the event as well as during it.

www.roundbritainrace.co.uk