Samantha Davies sets out again as the only woman so far, Mike Golding squares up to his ninth round the world attempt, Alex Thomson is praying for a trouble-free start and finish and three more British singlehanders, Brian Thompson, Dee Caffari and Steve White hope to make the start of the 2012 Vendée Globe singlehanded non-stop round the world race in November.
Raising money is hard but there were 19 confirmed entries announced in Paris on Tuesday ever eager to take a physical and mental beating for the 90-plus days that it takes to slog down the Atlantic, career around the Antarctic and then fight all the way back up to Les Sables d’Olonne, on the Vendée coast of north-west France.
If the probably 20 starters is impressive as banking fall-out takes its toll on budget-raining, the prediction for the number taking part as racers in the virtual game is, at half a million, astounding.
The Volvo round the world race also has a healthy virtual game with players up at all hours of the night in a bid to beat the professionals on board. Sometimes they do.
There will also, at 107,000 square feet, be a bigger pre-Vendée village, where the size of the school parties has to be seen to be believed, and up to 250,000 will turn up to see the yachts start on 10 November.