Hundreds of boats ranging in size from eight-foot long Optimist sailing dinghies to 30-foot Shields will fill the Edgartown harbor this weekend as the 88th annual Edgartown Yacht Club Regatta gets under way.

Racing begins Thursday; boats begin arriving in Edgartown harbor on Wednesday afternoon.

More than a dozen Wianno Senior 25-foot gaff-rigged sailboats will arrive Thursday afternoon from the Cape. They race from Osterville to here.

Sailboat races will take place in the Edgartown outer harbor and off Cow Bay for three days. Herreshoffs, Rhodes 19s and 420s are among the one-design classes that will race. As many as 60 to 70 Optimists will race off the Chappaquiddick Beach Club. High-performance Sonars will compete from both the Falmouth and Vineyard Haven Yacht Clubs.

William Roman, manager for the Edgartown Yacht Club, said the regatta attracts sailors of every generation from young to old. Racing usually begins at 10 a.m. and is finished by mid-afternoon.

Best places for viewing include Lighthouse Beach, Bend in the Road Beach and Memorial Wharf in Edgartown.