With five months to go to the start of the Vendée Globe, almost all of the competitors have relaunched their boats and restarted their preparation for the ninth edition. Now is the time to look at some of the details concerning the key steps that lie ahead as the skippers prepare for 8th November.
After ten days in Brest, the four maxi-trimarans of the Ultim Class 32/23 are all set for the start of the double handed Brest Atlantiques race, leaving tomorrow at 11am. The 14,000-mile non-stop loop, or the equivalent of sailing halfway around the globe, will see the trimarans round an island off Rio de Janeiro and then Cape Town before returning to Brest.
Perhaps it is because people are becoming increasingly time poor, or because it neatly side-steps the problem of keeping a large crew together, but one area of offshore racing undeniably gaining popularity is doublehanding.
The first and oldest single-handed transatlantic race, The Transat, will carve out a new path in 2020, with the announcement that the city of Brest in northern Brittany will host the start of the four-yearly classic.
World Sailing's landmark decision to select a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event for the 2024 Olympics and the recent announcement to hold an Offshore World Championship for mixed double-handed sailing in October 2020 has encouraged the RYA and Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) to combine their efforts to develop double-handed offshore sailing in the UK.