A return to the front for the West Country's next big solo sailor?
“This is the comeback,” says 30-year-old Alex Bennett. And how good it is to see him back afloat and racing.
Today Alex officially launched his new Class 40 Fujifilm and will be flying the flag at the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race in November. A passionate West Country solo sailor from the Pete Goss mould, Bennett has a tough and unforgiving sailing pedigree.
He did the Mini Transat in 1999, joined Pete Goss’s ill-starred Team Phillips crew, then bought Goss’s Open 50 Aqua Quorum for the 2000 TJV before having to abandon her mid-Atlantic in 2001.
Now, he’s back in this new Owen Clarke design built down the road from his office near Totnes, and his hope is that this is the next step towards the Vendée Globe, the goal he always dubbed ‘One Dream, One Mission’.
Alex’s Fujifilm is a bit different from most of the other new Class 40s because it’s optimised more for upwind sailing. He says: “Hopefully I can do this in a grand fashion. I’m in it to win and I’ll be really disappointed if I’m not on the podium.”