Sailing enthusiasts will want to hoist the mainsail for the start of the world Clipper yacht race in Southampton.

The 40,000-mile event will begin from Southampton on July 31, with a “parade of sail” extravaganza planned for the shore-based farewell ceremony.

Ten ocean racing vessels – all with mainly non-professional crew – will take roughly a year to complete the route. The fleet will be based in Ocean Village, with the event attracting international delegations to the city, which also hosts a number of corporate sailing days.

Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that Southampton has to offer to an international audience”.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo round the world non-stop, created the Clipper race in 1996.