Round the world the old way

We look at the progress with the Corinthian Challenge and speak to its most enthusiastic entries
World Cruising Club, part of the Challenge Business empire, at London Boat Show earlier this year announced another new round the world race, the Corinthian Challenge. The idea of this race, as it was pitched by Sir Chay Blyth, is to re-enact the first Whitbread, in terms of the course, the type of boats taking part and the spirit of the crews. The race will start in September 2006 and run on the traditional round the world course with stops including Perth and also the Caribbean. The idea of seeing 50 tonnes of maxi boat lead mine charging through the Southern Ocean at maximum warp factor again appeals to us greatly. Unfortunately the take up for the event has been slow with at present only two entries showing themselves, one an army entry on one of Challenge Business' 67 footers. Is this slow take up due to the event being under-marketed, or is its formula incorrect? Are the potential boats that might do it too old and in no fit state to sail around the world without vast amounts of money being spent on them? Whatever ever happened to all the Swan 65s and Ocean 80s? Bishop hopes there might be some private owners out there who might be keen to do it, but are any in a position or prepared to take a year off work to do the race? A couple for whom the Corinthian Challenge has tickled exactly the right spot are Peter Hopps and Hilary Cook. "When we heard about the race we thought 'that sounds interesting - we’d really like to do it'," recalls Hopps, a lawyer turned professional skipper and sailing instructor. "I suppose when we were 16 or 17 and getting into sailing and there were the first two or three editions of the