More than 2,700 people have reached the summit of Mount Everest. Five hundred have been into space. But fewer than 180 people have ever raced round the world solo.
Since it began almost 30 years ago, 123 sailors have lined up at the starting line of Velux 5 Oceans, but only 73 have crossed the finishing line. And two have died following their dream, said the skylight company Velux America on Thursday, Nov. 11.[ Also Read: Diving Deep into 32,160 Cups of Coffee ]
But in mid-October five skippers from the UK, Poland, Canada and Belgium, along with Brad Van Liew of the United States, departed La Rochelle, France for the start of the longest and toughest single-handed ocean race in the world.[ Also Read: Captain Morgan Targets One Million Poses ]
For nine months, from October 2010 until June 2011, they will sail, alone, across five oceans spanning 30,000 nautical miles.
The Velux 5 Oceans is a contest to overcome extreme challenges and achieve extraordinary results.[ Also Read: How to Hold a Record Breaking Office Event ]
“Mastering the elements is a goal shared by Velux and the skippers of the Velux 5 Oceans,” says Timothy B. Miller, president of skylight manufacturer Velux America.
The race is sailed with Eco 60 class boats, a new environmentally friendly class of yacht. The race is governed by rules and regulations designed to limit costs and encourage positive environmental practices.[ Also Read: What’s New in Guinness World Records 2011? ]
Le Pingouin (The Penguin), Van Liew’s boat, for example, employs two new hydrogenerators designed for maximum efficiency and power output with minimum drag.
With these, in concert with solar panels, Van Liew expects to carry out an ambitious eco-friendly plan to sail around the world using no fossil fuels whatsoever, promoting a message of sustainable living in the process.[ Also Read: Only 100,000 Pounds for a Whisky Bottle ]
The race started from La Rochelle in France on October 17 and features five ocean sprints passing the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leewin and Cape Horn.
After heading from La Rochelle to Cape Town, South Africa, the skippers will call at Wellington in New Zealand, Salvador in Brazil, and Charleston, SC in the US before racing the final leg across the Atlantic back to France finishing in June 2011.
For more information about, and to follow the race, visit www.velux5oceans.com