Race start changed to take in 11 September commemorations

The start of Around Alone, the single-handed round the world race, has been changed to New York, where it will now begin following a weekend’s events marking the anniversary of September 11. Originally the race was to have started in Newport, after a commercial deal with the town, but the start date now coincides with Sail for America, a massive commemorative waterborne event and parade of sail in New York Harbour.

Instead, the Around Alone fleet will have a prologue race from Newport to New York on 12 September, arriving at the Intrepid Museum Dock on the south-west side of Manhattan for the weekend’s commemorations. On Saturday 14 September everyone with a boat is invited to get on the water. The following day, Sunday 15 September, the Around Alone fleet will start from a line between ‘Ground Zero’ and the Statue of Liberty.

Brad Van Liew, one of the Americans taking part, will be racing his Open 50 Mission America. “I know that I speak for not only the American entrants, but for the entire Around Alone community when I say that this act of solidarity and support for New York’s Sail For America project will be a special moment for us all. I feel fortunate to be able to take this message of unity and strength with me as I circumnavigate the globe,” he said.

French competitor Marc Thiercelin who, like Van Liew, will be doing his second Around Alone, said: “To set off from New York one year after the tragedy and to show that man continues on his way in freedom over both land and also the oceans, stopping off in four continents on the way round, this is a true symbol of the future. This will be a very poignant homage to the innocent.”