Sailing: MacArthur's partner on board for new double-handed race

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The Independent Online

Next week Ellen MacArthur, the sailor, joins some of the very people in her sights to compete, from Le Havre, in the biennial two-handed race to Brazil. In 2007 she wants to poach all the best competitors.

There is a major sponsor in the wings and Turner was able to parade an impressive array of endorsement from the big names of sailing, including the man with whom MacArthur will complete the Transat Jacques Vabre, Roland Jourdain.

Turner, despite some opposition from grandees in French sailing, has also lined up full support from the organisation which runs the calendar for the Open 60 class of yachts which will take part, the International Monohull Open Class Association.

With Turner already running the Transat, moves by Mike Golding to run a London to Shanghai race next March and the singlehander with stops, the Velux Five Oceans, run from London, this concentrates the world events in Anglo-Saxon hands, leaving the French looking increasingly parochial.

It also sounds a warning note for the fully crewed Volvo Ocean Race, now gathering in Galicia for the start on 12 November - something which Turner was adamantly denying.