Fehlmann launches new race

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The Independent Online
SAILING Pierre Fehlmann, who has taken part in the Whitbread race five times, yesterday announced the creation of his own new round the world race, the Grand Mistral, which he hopes will start in September 1996 and then every four years.

He has commissioned from designer Bruce Farr a water-ballasted 80-foot single-masted sloop to be crewed by 12-16 people. He hopes to have 16 of them over the next 18 months which he hopes will be chartered for $2m (£1.5m).

The route begins at Marseilles, goes to Cape Town and Sydney, takes in the Sydney to Hobart race, goes on to Auckland, South America and New York before recrossing the Atlantic to the finish in Marseilles.

Britain's Lawrie Smith, skipper of the record-breaking Intrum Justitia, and Grant Dalton, whose New Zealand Endeavour was the fastest boat and winning maxi in the last Whitbread, both expressed enthusiasm.