HAMPSHIRE skippers Brian Thompson, Sam Davies and Ian Walker will lead a stellar cast of sailors in a charity race around the Isle of Wight.

The trio will each lead their own teams in the Artemis Challenge, one of the highlights of the Cowes Week Regatta.

The eighth edition of the 55-mile race will be held on Ladies Day, August 7, with a prize pool of £10,000 to be donated to the winner’s favourite charity.

Volvo Ocean Race skippers Davies and Walker will line up against one another for the first time with their yachts Team SCA and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

Joining the Volvo 65 fleet will be French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier with his Chinese-backed team Dongfeng Race Team.

Solo sailor Thompson will lead a team on an 60ft IMOCA raceboat.

Alongside the list of round the world sailors, celebrity guests will join the teams, pitting themselves against the best of the best for the coveted winner’s trophy and cheque for charity. Past competitors have included sports stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall and James Haskell, as well as other stars from the world of entertainment, including Davina McCall, Bryan Adams and James and Oliver Phelps, the Weasley Twins from the Harry Potter movies.

Celebrity guests for the Artemis Challenge 2014 will be announced in the coming weeks.