A number of competitors are following in the footsteps of Jean Le Cam and have confirmed their intention to participate in the Calais Round Britain Race, the first Imoca event of the 2005 season. Around ten crews should be on the start line in Calais on 22 May 2005 : a quality line-up which may well have a strikingly high British presence.
The British sailors may well be out in force in this second edition of the Calais Round Britain Race. They will find themselves in familiar waters as the 1850 mile course is literally going to be a race that is home from home, along the English, Irish and Scottish coastlines.
Three crews have been announced. In addition to the confirmed participation of Mike Golding and Emma Richards, Conrad Humphreys has expressed to the organisers his desire to be present.
A valiant third in the Vendée Globe, Mike Golding crossed the finish line without his keel. His boat has been in the yard in Cowes since the start of March. It’s now a race against the clock on the English side of the Channel so that Golding and his crew will make this first rendez-vous of the year. With regards the young Emma Richards, after her participation in the Around Alone in 2002-2003, she has chosen to devote her next few years to the Imoca circuit. She will be at the helm of her 60 footer Pindar Alphagraphics. Emma notably won the Round Britain and Ireland Race on a 50 foot monohull with Miranda Merron in 2002; a fact that may well mean that she knows all the traps and secrets of this course.
Finally, Conrad Humphreys, author of an incredible round the world, also has the intention of being present at the start in Calais. Heading off into the race again from the back of the pack after a pit-stop in Simonstown, South Africa, the young skipper was able to complete his very first Vendée Globe in 7 th position, after a fantastic comeback. His boat is also likely to undergo numerous repairs.
High society amongst the Frenchies
On the French side, Jean Le Cam was the first skipper to register his name on the list of competitors. His friend Roland Jourdain is likely to join him aboard Sill et Veolia. The keel of his Lombard design was damaged during the Vendée Globe while ‘Bilou’ was battling it out in the leading trio. A new keel is in construction and the whole team are already hard at work to be present in Calais. Jean Pierre Dick, Bernard Stamm and Anne Liardet have also made it known that they will be on the start line.
Still provisional, the competitors’ list may well be enriched by some equally big names in ocean racing between now and the closing date for inscriptions on 15 April 2005.
Calais Round Britain Race in a few points
* Crewed race reserved for the Imoca class (Open 60 footers)
* Starting from Calais on 22 May 2005 between 1200 and 1400 GMT
* 1850 miles of racing around the British Isles in a clockwise direction
* First finishers in Calais around 29 May
* Winner of the 2003 edition : Vincent Riou and his crew on PRB / 9 competitors
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