Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's solo round the world race is rejected by the Open 60 class in favour of Ellen MacArthur's rival event

Only weeks after announcing that Velux is going ahead with its sponsorship of a second 5 Oceans solo round the world race, organisers Clipper Ventures have hit a major snag: the race has been categorically rejected by the Open 60 class in favour of the rival Barcelona World Race, run by Ellen MacArthur’s and Mark Turner’s OC Group.

IMOCA, the Open 60 skippers’ association, has highlighted what it calls ‘previous problems?with the last two editions of the Velux 5 Oceans’ and says ‘an internal survey showed the race was mostly not part of the skippers’ priorities’.

Instead, the class is putting its full weight behind the fourly-yearly Route du Rhum race in 2010 and a second edition of the two-handed Barcelona World Race later the same year.

This leaves Clipper Ventures with a big problem: it will be extremely difficult to attract top sponsors and skippers to the Velux 5 Oceans.

Read more about the Open 60 power struggle in my blog