New Open 60 transat imminent

Introducing the Route du Nouveau Monde

Thursday January 16th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
For those Open 60 and 50 skippers who felt that a winter in the Caribbean would be preferable to shipping or sailing their boats back across the North Atlantic posthaste after the Route du Rhum, some will later this month be setting off on a new full crewed open class monohull race between Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic and La Rochelle.

La Route du Nouveau-Monde, is perhaps inappropriately named - surely it should the Old World Race? - but kicks off from the Caribbean island on 25 January. At present scrutineering is underway. This will be followed by the baptism of the boats on 21 January by Monseigneur Nicolas of Jesus Lopez-Rodriguez, Cardinal of Santo Domingo, and the prologue to the main event on 24 January.

Counting in the IMOCA championships, the event has only five boats signed up for it. Favourite is unquestionably Roland Jourdain's Sill who was expected to win the Route du Rhum until his mainsail was destroyed by severe, storm force winds.

Aside from Jourdain, up and coming British solo sailing star Miranda Merron will be sailing her newly rechristened Open 60 Un Univers de Services-République Dominicaine will a crew including her shore team Alex Sizer and Tony Reid and two time Mini Transat winner and yacht designer Seb Magnen.

The old skipper of Merron's boat, Vendee Globe skipper Eric Dumont is also taking part as is Belgian Patrick de Radigues on Garnier (formerly Yves Parlier's Aquitaine Innovations) and Patrick Favre's Miles Images/Gédéon Programmes.

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