Brad van Liew sets pace at start of Five Oceans

American solo sailor Brad van Liew set the pace at the start of the Velux Five Oceans Race as the fleet of five crossed the start line on the first leg off La Rochelle to Cape Town.

Chris Stanmore-Major carried the flag for Britain and, with Canada’s Derek Hatfield and Zbigniew Gutkowski of Poland could all look forward to relatively benign conditions on the first night of their 7000-mile run south.

But the fifth competitor, Christophe Bullens of Belgium, has to do a final qualifying sail of 48 hours, restarting from La Rochelle on Tuesday, having substituted his yacht, Five Oceans of Smiles, at the last minute for one which was badly damaged off Cherbourg on the way to the start.

One of the world’s longest-running singlehanded yacht races, the Velux started life in an office building in Hammersmith and was launched as the BOC Singlehanded Race round the world. Now it is still, essentially, based in Britain as one of a stable events run by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Clipper Ventures, which also runs a round the world race for paying, fully-crewed yachts.

This week sees a meeting in Paris for potential teams for the next America’s Cup in 2013. Outlining plans, including the launch of a new 45-foot class of wing sail catamaran being built in New Zealand, will be the new chief executive of America’s Cup Race Management, the Australian Iain Murray, along with chief operating officer Andy Hindley.

Britain’s Team Origin, which is disposing of many of its assets, will not be there, having pulled out of the event, but representatives from established outfits in Italy, New Zealand and Sweden are expected to be joined by new teams yet to be revealed.

In Britain, final preparations are being made for the world governing body, the International Sailing Federation’s annual general meeting in Greece next month. Chief among the contentious issues will be a proposal to set in train a new way of selecting the yachts for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Instead of, in theory, starting from scratch ahead of each Games, the delegates will be asked to approve the choice of a core group of boats, perhaps six or seven, with the remaining three medal classes then being subjected to a kind of Star Chamber competition to complete the 10 medal classes.



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

Day In a Page

The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower