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?
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk