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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
i100(More than you think)
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey


Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up