Peyron the favourite

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The Independent Online

The ever-popular but now French-dominated and run Singlehanded Trans- Atlantic race sees 58 yachts from 14 countries start the 10th run from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island, tomorrow.

It continues to attract a majority of Corinthian amateurs, but the main focus will be on the multihull flyers and the clutch of monohulls tuning up for the Vendee Globe non-stop singlehander in November.

The 1992 winner Loick Peyron is back in the trimaran Fujicolor II, designed by Nigel Irens, and his compatriots Paul Vatine (Haute Normandie) and Laurent Bourgnon (Primagaz) are the most likely to stop him doing the double.

Britain's Pete Goss has done only five hours of single-handed work in the new Aqua Quorum. The 34-year-old former marine is determined to show that ingenuity can beat big budgets and bigger boats. Aqua Quorum features a swinging 12ft keel and the race is, he says, a data-gathering exercise for November.