Sailing: Stamm looks favourite for sixth edition of Around Alone

Being a public loner may seem a contradiction in terms, but 13 of them set off from New York on Sunday on a personal pilgrimage that will take them nearly nine months to complete. It has to be hoped that 13 will not be an unlucky number, for the Around Alone Race has seen death and destruction in its past. The sixth edition, which has returned to its original roots by gathering in Newport, Rhode Island, and finishing there five legs and 28,800 miles later, holds the same dangers of wild weather, personal injury, gear failure and mental fatigue that it has always done.

In the second AA, at his second attempt, Jacques de Roux was washed overboard and drowned on the second leg, and, in the fourth, Isabelle Autissier was lucky only to have to be rescued by the Australian Navy.

Harry Mitchell was lost on the third leg. In the last race, Autissier had to be rescued again and Britain's Mike Golding ran aground going round the northern tip of New Zealand when in the lead.

There have been, however, notable wins by Philippe Jeantot in the first two, Christophe Augin in the third, and a tour de force by Giovanni Soldini in the last.

Into this chequered history steps Switzerland's Bernard Stamm, the favourite to take the 60ft prize, and alongside him another of Britain's notable women sailors, Emma Richards. She has the renamed Pindar, steed of a former AA competitor, Josh Hall, and would be come the second British woman to race solo round the world if she completes the course. As she struggles to cope with hearing that the mast of her new Kingfisher, the former Orange, has been broken in two places, Ellen MacArthur will still have time for a supportive thought after her own magnificent performance in the non-stop single-hander, the Vendée Globe.

Having had to cope with a dismasting on his first attempt to cross the Atlantic to the start, Graham Dalton, brother of Grant, then suffered a double time penalty, one for completing his qualifying voyage late, the other for arriving at the prologue late. He will have 60 hours and 59 minutes added to his first leg time, which should put him well out of the points; but he will start even in Hexagon for the remaining legs. The Canadian John Dennis, in the Class 2 50-footer Bayer Ascensia, also incurred a penalty of 107 minutes and 30 seconds for arriving late. Simone Bianchetti, widening Tiscali's sponsorship from Formula One to ocean racing, at least had his mast break early. He has a new rig, as does Dalton, and starts on even terms.

The race, now run by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, comes to Britain for the first time with the first leg to Brixham. The fleet then stretches its legs to Cape Town, takes in two southern ocean legs, first to Tauranga in New Zealand and then round Cape Horn to Bahia de Salvador in Brazil, before returning to Newport.

AROUND ALONE: Class 1: B Stamm (Switz) Armor Lux; B Schwab (US) Ocean Planet; E Richards (GB) Pindar; Graham Dalton (NZ) Hexagon; P de Radrigues (Bel) Garnier; S Bianchetti (It) Tiscali; T Dubois (Fr). Class 2: A Paris (Berm) BTC Velocity; B van Liew (US) Tommy Hilfiger; D Hatfield (Can) Spirit of Canada; J Dennis (Can) Bayer Ascensia; K Shiraishi (Japan) Spirit of Yukoh; T Kent (US) Everest Horizontal.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?