Sailing: Maxi rides tide of expectation

The ideal conditions forecast for Cowes this weekend should result in records being broken. Stuart Alexander reports

A buzz of expectation was sweeping through Cowes last night as more than 1200 yachts prepared for the annual race around the Isle of Wight in conditions that appear perfect for breaking records.

Tides have dictated an early start for this year's Hoya Round the Island Race, with the competitors crossing the Royal Yacht Squadron Line in groups from 6.30am. Hopes are high that the brisk east to north- easterly breeze that has been dominant for the past couple of days will be maintained, giving fast conditions down the western Solent and out past the Needles rocks and lighthouse.

The monohull record of 5hr 12min 3sec is held by Mike Slade's Hoya Longabarda. The 84-foot maxi is back to lower that mark, though this time the boat is being steered by the Welshman Eddie Warden Owen, a former America's Cup competitor and coach.

The man who set that record, Chris Law, will also be racing, but in his new role as principal helmsman of the big boat in the 1997 British Admiral's Cup team, Graham Walker's Corum Indulgence.

In Cherbourg, France, as 16 yachts prepared to start tomorrow's Round Europe Race, plans to announce a rival to the Whitbread Round The World Race have been delayed.

A move by the former Whitbread skipper, Pierre Fehlmann, to organise a race in identical 80-foot Grand Mistral yachts had to be dropped as sponsors failed to support the event. However, building of the yachts continued and five of them, now controlled by the Banque International de Luxembourg, are sailing in the Round Europe.

It has long been expected that a race around the world would be organised for them, though the details were not fixed. Start and finish points have yet to be named, as have stopovers, with one plan calling for the yachts to take only a 24-hour break from racing at three "pit stops" and completing the course in less than 100 days.

At the centre of negotiations has been Sweden's Ludde Ingvall, who recently skippered one of the yachts involved, Nicorette, to a transatlantic crossing in record time. He said "yachtsmen are still expecting and dreaming of taking these offshore greyhounds for a race around the world" but negotiations have yet to be completed.

Britain's Tony Bullimore makes his first return to racing in the Round Europe event following his rescue by the Australian Navy after his yacht capsized in the icy Southern Ocean in January during the Vendee Globe singlehanded race. Another hero of that race, Pete Goss, has withdrawn from the Round Europe as he is negotiating a book contract.

The first yachts in the Atlantic Challenge Cup, to commemorate the 1905 transatlantic record that Ingvall broke, are expected to finish this morning. They are led by the 183ft schooner Adix.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project