One of sailing's biggest races, the Artemis Transat, is under way with the world's top mariners taking part in a solo sprint across the Atlantic.
It's known as the "big one".
And 24 of the best skippers from around the world are about to find out why.
It proved an anxious wait at the start. They had already waited four years since the last event, now they had to hold on a little longer.
For the best part of four hours the competitors at this year's Artemis Transat race had to content themselves with tacking back and forth.
Just outside Plymouth's breakwater the tension was building.
Hundreds of small yachts and thousands of landlocked onlookers were there to see them off.
The two separate class of boats, 40ft and 60ft yachts, grouped together as the last checks were made.
The weather could not have been kinder - glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze ensured the yachts looked their best for the thousands who'd come to see them.
Fog and icebergs
On shore Dame Ellen McArthur, who would have been competing if she wasn't helping to organise this year's race, described the kind weather as ideal for settling the skippers' nerves.
The Transat is considered one of the toughest yachting races in the world
She said: "Well here we are at the start in Plymouth.
"It's a sunny day and I know from personal experience that will take a lot of pressure off the skippers - they're not starting off into a big storm.
"But we know they are going out there into a big storm, icebergs - particularly off the coast of Newfoundland - and then fog at the finish."
Battling the elements is what this race has always been about.
The Transat is the oldest solo yacht race in the world.
The inaugural race was won by Sir Francis Chichester in 1960 - after 40 days at sea.
That time has been improved on over the years - the current record stands at just over 12 days.
But dealing with what the Atlantic throws at you remains the same.
In 1976, the race lost two skippers - missing at sea - from appalling weather.
It's not just the elements each skipper will need to battle.
In the 1984 race, one skipper was scuppered after being followed by a pod of some 50 whales for three days.
Finally they made their move and attacked his yacht - leaving him just enough time to jump in a life raft as his vessel sank to the bottom of the sea.
The race began in Plymouth in 1960 after a bet of half a crown between Sir Francis Chichester and Blondie Hasler to see who could race the Atlantic the fastest.
Sir Francis won the inaugural race taking just over 40 days to cross the Atlantic.
The race record for mono-hull boats stands at 12 Days 15 Hours 18 Minutes and 8 Seconds, which was set in 2004 by Mike Golding.
The 1960 race is the only one where all the competitors who started (5 of 5), crossed the finish line
And even the smallest iceberg, or "growler" as it is known, can sink a hi-tech racing yachts in minutes.
When the first yachts sight land in just over a week's time, they'll also be encountering a terrifying combination of thick fog, icebergs and the busy shipping lanes off Newfoundland, Canada.
If they can negotiate all those challenges, they need only finish the 2,800 mile (4,500km) odyssey by crossing the finishing line in Boston harbour.
That, however, is of little concern to the latest generation of Transat sailors.
As each skipper jostled for position at the starting line it was clear that they are far more concerned with what their rivals are doing than the challenges ahead.
This is after all a race.
So, even if there are still 2,800 miles to go, all the contenders were keen to make the best possible start and stamp their authority on proceedings.
Courtesy of a Royal Navy frigate - HMS Argyle - and its guns, with one blast and a puff of smoke the race was under way.
They didn't hang around. Within 20 minutes all 24 yachts had disappeared over the horizon.
Now it's a test of skill, endurance and of course just a little bravery.