One racer's rain-off is another's boost as crews set off on cross-Atlantic contest

 

Fast, fast, fast was the prediction from all five skippers as they left New York for the Krys ocean race across the Atlantic to Brittany as sailors were set to profit from the same, basic meteorological factors that were causing such problems for Formula One drivers at Silverstone on today.

Less easy to predict was which of the five would be first and how successful this launch of a cost-conscious grand prix-style of yacht racing will prove to be.

In theory, the first man to campaign the Multi One Design trimaran, Stève Ravussin, should benefit from having more time on the water. In theory, Michel Desjoyeaux, one of the brightest stars in the French firmament, should outwit his rivals. In a continuing theory, Yann Guichard and his impressive crew should be able to push hardest, and in the same mould Sébastien Josse could expect to be up front.

The only crew saying that it will be taking things more cautiously is the one on Sidney Gavignet’s Oman Sail, though even there, the American Ryan Breymaier, standing in for the injured Loik Gallon, was starting his seventh transatlantic crossing, Gavignet his 21st, and his right hand man, Britain’s Brian Thompson has way over 30 on his CV.

None of the 30 crew on the identically built and equipped boats would see themselves as pilgrim fathers in reverse, bringing a new culture for modern yacht racing, but the mantra of the Krys – racing on even terms – fits well with the second decade of the 21st century when even possible sponsors making solid profits are cautious about being extravagant. The same conditions affect the reformulated Volvo Ocean Race.

Both need critical mass and, while Volvo boss Knut Frostad is building an opening eight of the 65-foot one design monohull, his MOD70 counterpart Franck David says he is confident he will have 12 on the start for a round the world race starting in October 2013, a year ahead of the next Volvo.

He also hopes for seven or eight on the next European tour – the first starts at the end of this August – and is casting his net as far apart as the United States and China. “The project is growing more slowly in difficult economic times, but it is growing step by step. We think the concept is right,” he said watching the fleet depart from its North Cove marina base at the bottom of New York’s financial centre.

Not many of the joggers and cyclists stopping to take a look could understand the announcements in French; many thousands who will in Brest for the Festival of the Sea will know exactly what is happening if it arrives, as predicted, on next weekend’s Bastille Day.

Kenny Read’s Puma won the final act in Galway of the Volvo round the world race and so gave his American team the consolation prize as overall winners of the inshore race series. Second on the day, and overall, was the New Zealand-managed Spanish entry Camper, skippered by Australian Chris Nicholson.

In Marstrand, Bjorn Hansen won the Stena Cup in the World Match Race Tour after knocking out Britain’s defending world champion Ian Williams and Team GAC Pindar in their semi-final and then going on to beat the veteran Peter Gilmour in the final. Williams beat New Zealand’s Phil Robertson to take third place and goes on to the Chicago regatta this week. 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future