58 boats set sail for the Azores

Fifty-eight boats have departed Falmouth for the tenth Azores and Back (AZAB) Race.

Perfect conditions greeted the solo or double-handed fleet on Saturday as the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club‘s eight-inch bore civil war muzzle loader cannon got the 1,200 mile first-leg underway.

Former Yachting Monthly editor Andrew Bray, who co-founded the race to the Atlantic archipelago in 1975, was the start’s guest of honour and he watched the yachts, which ranged from three Contessa 32s to two Open 40 racers, depart.

At 0900 today two boats had already retired with gear failure and La Promese, a Phil Morrison-designed Open 40, sailed by JanKees Lampe, lead the race. Lampe is scheduled to arrive in Ponta Delgada early on Friday morning.

There will be a full report on the AZAB start by West Country pilotbook-author Mark Fishwick in the August issue of Yachting Monthly.

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Picture by Neil Reynolds.