Around 400 amateur sailors will compete in the race
Events are being held in Hull ahead of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which begins from the Humber later.
Ten 68ft (20m) yachts with teams from Jamaica, Australia and Scotland will cross the major oceans during the 35,000-mile race (56,000 km).
Fireworks and a Red Arrow display are some of the events being held until the race starts at 1400 BST on Sunday.
The yachts - crewed by non-professional sailors led by a professional skipper - are due to finish in Hull in July 2010.
The non-professional crews make the race unique in world yacht racing.
Farewells to the yachts will take place in front of the Holiday Inn at Hull Marina between 1145 BST and 1215 BST on Sunday.
A cannon will be fired at 1400 BST to mark the start of the race.