Solo round the world

Liz Wardley is to set sail this Saturday to walk the course of the SolOceans round the world race
With no round the world races going on this year, we were hoping for a quiet Christmas and New Year. However on Saturday former Amer Sports Too bow elf turned Figaro sailor, Liz Wardley is set to off on a lap of the planet singlehanded aboard the SolOceans one design. Despite having a fine boat in their Michel Desjoyeaux breathed on 16m (52ft) Finot-Conq designed mini IMOCA 60 and a sound plan in a one design singlehanded round the world race, with the associated benefits of reduced costs, etc, in these hard economic times, so far the SolOceans round the world race has yet to gain its legs. With no boats sold, in March this year the start of the race was delayed from this October just gone, until 23 October 2011. So on Saturday Wardley will set off to walk the course from Caen in northern France to Wellington, NZ and then back to northern France to finish in Cherbourg. This will be the second time Wardley has set out to do this on the SolOceans boat, however two years ago she went as part of a crew led by Charles Caudrelier (who has just won the TJV on board Safran) and only got as far as Wellington. "We had a lot of problems last time and we had a few stopovers," admits Wardley. "We had about four weeks in Cape Town and we had 10 days in Portugal and by the time we got to Wellington it was a bit too late to be heading into the Southern Ocean, so the boat got shipping back." Since then the boat has had substantial modifications. "When we arrived in Wellington we had a couple of pages of modifications and changes, to make the boat perform better." Among the improvements have been rearranging