British sailors prepare for ocean race

A record number of boats will begin the Route du Rhum from St Malo on Sunday 29 October. 77 boats are currently expected to race; a huge mark-up from the 58 that entered 2002’s dramatic edition, in which hurricane force winds tore much of the fleet to shreds.

The increase is due to the new Class 40, the biggest fleet in the race, with 25 yachts already qualified to start. British talent, including Phil Sharp and Nick Bubb, are taking a step up from the Mini to compete on these boats.

The IMOCA Open 60 class will also be one to watch, especially Vincent Riou’s Farr-designedPRBand Dominique Wavre’s new Owen Clarke designedTemenos. It will also see the IMOCA debut of British sailing legend Brian Thompson’s new boatArtemis, pictured to the left.