Just how crazy would you have to be to race round the world in a 10ft boat?


Is life just too damn comfortable for you? Do you crave lashings of discomfort, hardship and risk to make you feel more alive?

You do? Well, then, here’s an adventure with your name on it: racing round the world in boat not much bigger than an Optimist.

The Around in Ten race is proposed by two designers who have come up with rival 10ft yachts. Paul Fisher from Britain has designed the Micro 10, which has water ballast and either a single sail Delta rig or a junk rig, while New Zealander John Welsford has a more high-tech sloop, the Gimli (lines shown right), with a long bowsprit, loads of sail area and a canting keel.

Both boats are designed to be self-built (includes free application for the Darwin Awards for improving the gene pool by enterprising demise).

The proposed race begins next January in the Bahamas and goes through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, past the Cape of Good Hope and past to the Bahamas.

I can’t think of any more masochistic way of going racing than this. The motion, the confined space, the length of the race? aargh! If you weren’t crazy to start with, you’d surely be a dribbling, pop-eyed bedlamite by the end.

I wonder if it really is possible to find enough madmen to make up a fleet. And before you think: “Hey, but what about the Minis?” they’re a stretch-out-and-luxuriate 21ft – and you want to see what some of those guys look like after three weeks crossing the Atlantic.