The 18 skippers are busy with last minute preparations, safety inspections and tests. They also have to deal with press interviews and questions from the public, not to mention spending time with family and friends before 8 or 9 months of solitude, sailing solo around the world.
What is interesting for me about this race is that I can personally relate to the boats. They are ordinary production models, and the equipment is similar to what we would see on an offshore cruising boat – with the exception of electronics, of course. No autopilots and GPS, rather an interesting assortment of windvanes are on display, and the use of celestial navigation rather than GPS is a defining feature of the race.
Suhaili and Joshua and Gypsy Moth IV are also present: the boats that started it all by establishing precedents for solo circumnavigation.
Stay tuned for more stories and photos direct from Les Sables d’Olonne!