Another new solo round the world race but with a different angle 9/3/07

Although another new round the world race is possibly the last thing the sport needs right now, the concept of the SolOceans is very interesting.

For a start this race – organised by Yvan Griboval and the French SailingOne team – is an equal opportunity, single-handed round the world race which means that competitors will sail strict one-design monohulls – 16m carbonfibre Veolia Oceans – with costs carefully controlled. The yachts, designed by Jean-Marie Finot, Pascal Conq and team, will be produced, fully equipped and marketed by SailingOne.

Also, by being in total control of entry and running costs the organisers believe that small businesses as well as large firms will be able to take part on an equal footing, with reasonable budgets.

The organisers of this well-prepared event has also just announced Veolia – a world leader in environment services – as its major sponsor which is an amazing achievement given that there are still two and a half years to go before the start.

The start date for first race has already been set at 25 October 2009 and the race will run every two years starting from France during the last quarter of the year. The first leg will take the fleet east to New Zealand followed by the second leg – New Zealand to France – at the beginning of the following year. And so on.

The start of production of the one-designs will commence next month with a launch date of the first boat a month later. The cost of the yachts will be announced in September just before the first boat commences the reconnaissance of the Leg 1. For this practice run the boat will be sailed doublehanded.

Equipment used will include North Sails 3DL sails, Harken winches, Lancelin rigging, Karver furlers, NKE electronics and Nanni Diesel engines.

Keep an eye out for more news on this race that could develop into one of the most interesting we’ve seen for many years