Three teams have reserved places in Antarctica Cup

Three teams have reserved places in Antarctica Cup, the 2004 non-stop race around the Southern Ocean which leaves the three great capes, Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope to port.

Just one month after the official race launch, Paul Cayard (pictured left), Roy Heiner and Australia’s Grant Wharington have already booked their places in the event and, as well as another American team on the brink of signing up, organisers say there’s interest from Brazil, Ireland, Japan and England, New Zealand, France, Italy, Sweden and Denmark.

Paul Cayard, who won the last Whitbread Round the World Race, now the Volvo Ocean Race, has sailed in four America’s Cups is upbeat about his decision to enter, saying, “personally I like sailing down there, in the Southern Ocean, it’s just the most awesome sailing that you can do.”

He added, “I think it’s an innovative format, with the different legs, and accumulation of points or prize-money along the individual legs, as well as an overall winner, I think that will add a lot of excitement into the race.”

Roy Heiner, from the Netherlands, is also a former Whitbread Round the World race skipper, an Olympic medallist, and has been one of the world’s top match racing skippers.

He commented about the race, “I really believe it’s a fantastic concept and that’s the way the sport should be going, so I’m going to do my bit to get the money to compete in this thing, I think it’s brilliant.”

Australian Grant Wharington, who has been a regular Sydney to Hobart race competitor in a string of boats called Wild Thing, and winner of the double-handed Melbourne to Osaka race will head the first Australian team.

He said of the new race, “I think the concept has very, very carefully been thought out, and I think full credit is due to the team of guys that have put it together.”