Yachting: Around the world in eight months: How 10 boats will tackle 32,000 miles

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America's Challenge

The boat is unproven but the designer Alan Andrews has a good track record and the 1993/94 winner Ross Field has recently been announced as skipper. Has a good team, including his son Campbell.

Brunel Sunergy

A relatively late skipper change to Hans Bouscholte and a non-Bruce Farr designed boat puts this Dutch team outside the list of favourites. But a new keel, rudder and mast fitted in the last month will be their big hope for speed.

Chessie Racing

The 57-year-old owner and co-skipper George Collins has adopted an unusual approach with a squad of sailors topped off by a "guest" star helmsmen. The boat is quick, though, designed by Bruce Farr.

EF Language

The bookies have been writing this one off after a poor Fastnet Race a month ago and the departure of the navigator Nick White. But never underestimate the American skipper Paul Cayard, who is as talented as the best in the race.

EF Education

Well funded and well practised, the EF women's team have the hardware to succeed and skipper Christine Guillou is experienced. Results so far, however, suggest that EF Education will struggle.

Innovation Kvaerner

The young skipper Knut Frostad was one of the first to raise money and the youthful and motivated team has been practising for a long time. The boat is quick but personality differences have marred the last few weeks.

Merit Cup

The Whitbread veteran Grant Dalton built two boats to help him make the transition from the maxi class to the lively Whitbread 60s. Has a top Kiwi crew, including the two-time winning navigator Mike Quilter. One of the three favourites.

Silk Cut

Lawrie Smith has finally had everything he wanted for his third Whitbread campaign - time, money, and control over every aspect including crew selection. He has a fast boat, a motivated crew and his best chance of victory. Another of the favourites.

Swedish Match

Gunnar Krantz and Roger Nilson have been in the Whitbread game as long as anyone but so far success has eluded them. Here they have a big budget and a boat which should be fast.


The Dennis Conner-Chris Dickson dream team. This boat is fast and Dickson will drive it to the edge. The figurehead Conner is likely to sail only a couple of short legs but Toshiba is a clear favourite to give Dickson the win he was denied by a broken mast last time.