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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Ultimate Solo Challenge

Seven-Month Round-the-World Solo Sailing Race Begins with Competitors from the US, the UK, Poland, Canada and Belgium

Photo: onEdition 2010©
This past weekend, many of us in the US were hauling our boats out of the water, winterizing them, and getting used to the fact that boating is not an option until spring of 2011. Meanwhile, across the pond on this cool October weekend, five skippers from around the world– each on their own 60-ft sailboat - set off on an ocean race that will keep them on the water until May of 2011... if they're lucky.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the oldest single-handed round the world yacht race. Run every 4 years since 1982, the race is the longest and toughest event for any individual in any sport. The race is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon circumnavigation. In the course of the 30,000 mile race, the skippers cross five oceans alone.

The Route
Racing began in La Rochelle, France, on Sunday (October 17 2010) with the skippers heading for their first stop in Cape Town. From there they will head into the notorious Southern Ocean stopping at Wellington in New Zealand before rounding Cape Horn and making for Salvador in Brazil. A short hop up the coast to the United States for a stop in Charleston, South Carolina, makes up the fourth leg. Then the skippers set off across the Atlantic to complete the race where they started, in La Rochelle, in May 2011.

Photo: onEdition 2010©
The Contenders

Boat Name  |  Skipper (nickname)  |  Country
Le Pingouin, Brad Van Liew, USA
Five Oceans of Smiles, Christophe Bullens, Belgium
Spartan, Chris Stanmore-Major (CSM), UK
Operon Racing, Zbigniew Gutkowski (Gutek), Poland
Active House, Derek Hatfield, Canada

To learn more about the Velux 5 Oceans race and track the progress in real time, visit velux5oceans.com. Before you go, we want to hear from you. What's the longest you've ever been at sea, or the farthest you've ever traveled by water? Please let us know.

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