Emma Richards will return to ocean racing this November when she teams up with Mike Sanderson to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre

Emma Richards, the record breaking British round-the-world yachtswoman, will return to ocean racing this November when she teams up with one of the world’s leading sailors, Mike Sanderson, to compete in the double-handed yacht race, the Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre, France, to Salvador, Brazil.

Richards, 28, and Sanderson, 32, will compete in the 18 month old Owen Clark design Open 60 to be re-named Pindar. The yacht was recently purchased by Emma’s sponsors of the past four years, Pindar – the leading British-based international print and electronic media company, and Emma has spent the summer overseeing a major re-fit for the new yacht in Cherbourg, France. The boat is now tailored to Emma’s specifications and will debut in Pindar’s colours at the start line of the Transat Jacques Vabre in Le Havre on Saturday 1 November 2003.

Emma, who sailed into the record books earlier this year by becoming the youngest ever competitor to complete the singlehanded round-the-world yacht race Around Alone, will take part in her first race in the new yacht alongside one of the world’s top sailors, Mike Sanderson. Sanderson, who was most recently mainsheet trimmer onboard Oracle BMW Racing’s America’s Cup campaign, will take time out from his current position as race skipper for Mari Cha IV in order to co-skipper Pindar in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Mike, from New Zealand, has three America’s Cups, two Whitbreads and numerous other races under his belt, and will form a formidable partnership with British sailing’s new heroine.

Emma plans to compete in other races next year such as the RWYC Single handed transatlantic race (formally OSTAR) as well as the Quebec to St Malo crewed race, but the long-term plan for both Emma and Pindar is to use the new boat as a platform for a Volvo Ocean Race campaign. Pindar are currently talking to other companies about potential partnerships in order to secure the necessary finances to run a leading campaign in the world’s premier ocean race.