For HOBSON this race is unfinished business. 'I was leading the 50ft class in the 2000 OSTAR when the mast came down,' he recounts. 'As this will be my last race with Mollymawk before we build a new boat, I'm all out to win.'
Meanwhile, 25 year-old Aurelia DITTON (GBR) has caught the imagination of the team at Gill, who were intrigued and impressed by her unusual sailing programme that includes her entry in the OSTAR on the 34ft trimaran Shockwave.
DITTON and Shockwave are involved in an extraordinary sailing project that will form the final year of her Sculpture degree at London's Chelsea College of Art. Once they return from the OSTAR, Shockwave will be painted with a five coat system including UV coating and lacquer, the top coat being satin black. The paint is such that whenever waves pass down the hull or it rains, it will streak, revealing and mixing the different layers of paint beneath. After it is painted, Shockwave will be delivered to London where she will be exhibited from the end of August in the huge courtyard outside Chelsea College at its new base next to the Tate Modern on London's South Bank. The display of the boat also coincides with the Turner Prize being held at the Tate Modern.