Sailing: Fleet faces Atlantic battering

Force 7 winds, 60-knot gusts and 30-foot waves are on the menu for the 34 sailors in the 60-foot monohull class of the Transat Jacques Vabre over the next couple of days as they shoulder their way out of the English Channel en route for Bahia, Brazil. The forecast is so brutal the multihull class will wait in Le Havre for a couple of days.

Force 7 winds, 60-knot gusts and 30-foot waves are on the menu for the 34 sailors in the 60-foot monohull class of the Transat Jacques Vabre over the next couple of days as they shoulder their way out of the English Channel en route for Bahia, Brazil. The forecast is so brutal the multihull class will wait in Le Havre for a couple of days.

The monohulls got underway in a moderate northerly yesterday, but today will be punished by Atlantic headwinds. Among the 17 double-handed crews is a raft of UK talent out to prove itself on this 4,300-mile test, the biggest transatlantic race of the year.

"When I started in this game I was pretty much alone among the French," said Britain's Mike Golding. "Today there are Brits, Australians, New Zealanders, Italians, Spanish and all sorts, and Britain is right up there fighting for top honours."

Golding will be cautious as his new boat, Ecover, has sailed only 1,500 miles. Ultimately he will want a Vendée Globe win from his machine. But short-term, a good finish with signs of speed will do.

Not so the 29-year-old Alex Thomson, who purchased Sill, the boat that won this race two years ago, and has her skipper, Roland Jourdain, sailing with him. The French rank them as favourites.

"I'm comfortable with that," said Thomson as he left. "We'll be looking to be on the podium and preferably on the top of it."

Less is known about Sam Davies and Nick Moloney. But while Davies holds the world 24-hour speed record and Moloney was the winner of his class in the singlehanded Route du Rhum race last year, this is their first major test as a team.

Emma Richards raced around the world earlier this year and her partner, Mike Sanderson, has sailed in round-the-world races and the America's Cup. But in Pindar, Richards has a new boat and is trying radical new ideas. The short-term goal, however, is to survive the imminent hammering.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Content and PR

£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Mid / Senior

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...

Recruitment Genius: E-commerce Partnerships Manager

£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor