The long dry spell is almost over

If you love following round-the-world sailboat races, life has been a bit quiet since the last Volvo concluded.

Thankfully, the Velux 5 Oceans Race, a five-leg race that takes sailors some 30,000 miles—starting and finishing in La Rochelle, France—is set to begin on October 17. The long wait is almost over but only five boats will be on the starting line, giving some factions of the sailing community reason to wonder how competitive this long-standing ocean race will prove to be.

Lone American sailor Brad Van Liew, already a decorated solo skipper, has provided a rundown on his fellow skippers, and on the race itself in this issue. Says Van Liew, 'the competition in this race will be as intense as anything I have faced before. Some have asked me about the number of entries and suggested that fewer boats might equal less intense competition. Not so. The racers that are here in La Rochelle appear 100% committed and the talent runs deep.'

Van Liew’s analysis of the fleet is a must-read for anyone even half interested in singlehanded offshore sailing.

2010 RC44 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - RC44 World Championship 2010 / Day 2 - Light wind but intense regatta between James Spithills 17 (USA) and Terry Hutchinson's Artemis (SWE). The first round went to Spithill and his team.

Meanwhile, readers who are more tuned-in to fully crewed, round-the-buoy racing should pay close attention to the RC 44 World Championship Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup, which runs through October 16. Day Two proved super light, and only one flight took place, but the final pairings have been established, with Jimmy Spithill’s 17 racing Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis in the finals.

Interestingly, Hutch just finished winning the TP52 Worlds with his Quantum Racing, his second TP52 World Championship in the last three years. Hats off to Hutch and company for sailing so well in the bigger boats, and stay tuned for more on the RC44 action as it unfolds.

Meanwhile if you have an opinion on the future of matchracing, have your say in the latest Sail-World survey.

May the four winds blow you safely home,