No fewer than four British Olympic medallists will be taking part in this weekend’s Hoya Round the Island race

We already knew that Iain Percy and Shirley Robertson would be taking part in this weekend’s Hoya Round the Island Race, now two more medal-toting Team GBR members have confirmed they will be taking part.

Ian Barker and Simon Hiscocks, Britain’s surprise silver medallists in the 49er class in Sydney, have cobbled together a hot shot crew to race the Ultra 30 Hoya. Ultra 30s are just big dinghies – there’s no keel – and it’s up to the nine crew, all trapezed, to keep her upright for as much of the 50nm course as possible.

“When I heard that Russell Peters, who won this class last year, was going to be going for the race record on Reloaded Red Square, I couldn’t resist the challenge of putting my own team in the running,” said Barker. “We will be going head to head with one of the biggest yachts in the fleet, Skandia Leopard, already proving a real threat on the race course.”

They will be joining the race within a race between Russell Peters on the Ultra 30 Reloaded Red Square and Mike Slade’s Skandia Leopard. It’s an extraordinary match: two 30ft dinghies taking on a 90ft state of the art Reichel/Pugh sled. If it’s light, my money’s on Slade.

Robertson will be at the helm of the Swan 48 Jacobite, currently making waves at the Swan European Championships in Cowes. Her crew will be slick and the Solent itself will be very familiar after a week diving about its extremities.

Percy will be honing his tactical art at Mark Heeley’s shoulder onboard the all-conquering Farr 40 GBR-25, in preparation for the Farr 40 Worlds here in the Solent this September.

There are no fewer than 23 classes this year. Multihulls, gaffers and boats up to 30ft in length are off at 0800 on Saturday morning with the ACC class boats starting last at 1000. Check back on Thursday for our weather breakdown.