A fleet of nine beautiful yachts are currently berthed in Santa Cruz as they prepare to battle it out in the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2007 on Monday.

Crews from Great Britain, Barbados, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway and Monaco will attend a range of parties and other festive activities to celebrate the beginning of their 3,000-mile journey.

Between nine and 15 people crew each vessel, with each preparing to battle what organisers describe as “incredibly varied and challenging wind and sea conditions” as they make their way across the Atlanic Ocean to the Carribean island of St Maarten.