New start venue for Around Alone
Instead of starting in Newport, Rhode Island, the competing yachts will now sail a fully crewed prologue race from Newport to New York, from where the first leg of the singlehanded race proper will start on 15 September.
The reason for the change is in order for Around Alone to be part of 'Sail For America', a one-off event taking place in New York Harbour on the weekend of the start to commemorate the first anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th 2001. The start line of Around Alone will now be a transit between 'Ground Zero' and the Statue of Liberty.
In a statement showing his support for the diversion of the race to New York, Deputy Mayor of the City of New York, Daniel L. Doctoroff said "we are honoured that the organisers and competitors of Around Alone are willing to divert to New York for this one time only to join Sail For America. This is a highly symbolic act of solidarity with our City, which will capture the hearts of our citizens and the country. We will ensure that this historic departure from New York is a remarkable success".
The build-up for Around Alone will still be in Newport at the Newport Shipyard from 27 August. The boats will now depart on 12 September, the preview day of Newport International Boat Show, for the fully crewed 160 mile passage along the south shore of Long Island to New York. In New York the boats will be based at the Inteprid Museum, a de-commissioned aircraft carrier (see below) docked on the SW side of Manhattan island.
In the words of Michael Fortenbaugh, Commodore of the Manhattan Yacht Club, organisers of Sail For America, the participation is supposed to be symbolic to the world that New York is "setting sail again".