Leg 3 kicks off today

The brave men and woman of Around Alone set out into the Southern Ocean
Above: the valiant skippers...top row (left to right): Kojiro Shiraishi, John Dennis, Simone Bianchetti, Thierry Dubois, Derek Hatfield, Emma Richards and Alan Paris, bottom row (left to right) Bruce Schwab, Graham Dalton, Brad van Liew, Tim Kent, Bernard Stamm The third leg of Around Alone kicks off today from Cape Town, South Africa, taking the solo sailors into the perilous waters of the Southern Ocean bound for Tauranga in New Zealand some 7,190 nautical miles away. Despite the recent morning fog, the indications are for fair winds from the south at the start of the race at 12:00hrs local time (1000GMT), which will shift to the South West to give headwinds for the fleet for the first 6–8 hours (for an analysis of the course see page 2...) All the skippers were in fine spirits during yesterday's press conference prior to the ‘serious leg’ as described by American skipper Tim Kent on Everest Horizontal. Overall current leader with 20 points, Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group-Armor Lux, explained how he saw this next Southern Ocean leg: “The only time I have been in this ocean is on a cargo ship so this time it will be quite different! First I will sail safely, as the biggest danger of all is myself – to know the limits of the boat is not a simple task, these boats are complicated machines. I’ve changed the mainsail so I can take four reefs in instead of three, and we’ve added a cuddy in the cockpit so that I can shelter a little from the weather. As for my competition, well, we are great friends, but out there it’s war, and if the race is not for winning, then what?!” French circumnavigator, Thierry Dubois on Solidaires, currently second in the overall rankings just two points behind