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3 April 2002, 11:51 am
19 Skippers Entered
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Around Alone Race

The 31st March entry deadline for The Around Alone yacht race entries just passed, the line-up now boasts an impressive 19 skippers from 11 countries, with 8 in Class I, 10 in Class II, and 1 Venturer Class entry.

Although there are 166 days still to go, these skippers are firmly in the starting blocks for the gun on 15th September 2002. Late entries are considered until August 1st.

The deadline alert brought in another two entries last week. Australian campaign, Global Quest Yachting, headed up by renowned ex-BOC Challenge skipper Kanga Birtles, has just appointed Spanish lawyer-cum-skipper Unai Basurko De Miguel as their entry into Class I. Secondly, professional short-handed yachtsman, 35 year old Australian Adam Lambert, has signed up in Class II.

Around Alone 2002/3 is certain to witness some closely fought battles for the podium in Classes I & II. European might underpins Class I in the shape of veterans Marc Thiercelin & Thierry Dubois (FRA, Class I), with a twist of Swiss competition from Bernard Stamm (SWI, Class I) in his transatlantic record-holding yacht 'Bobst Group-Armor Lux'. However, Italy is defending her victorious colours under Simone Bianchetti (ITA, Class I), the first Italian skipper to finish a non-stop, solo round the world yacht race. He is racing to win on the fast Lombard-designed Open 60 previously helmed by Catherine Chabaud, now 'Tiscali Global Challenge'. Challenging this European dominance are the all-American Open 60 'Ocean Planet', skippered by Bruce Schwab (USA, Class I), and two major boat campaigns from down under: Unai Basurko with Global Quest Yachting and Graham Dalton (NZ, Class I) with HSBC, the latter at the helm of his powerful, new Open 60 'Hexagon'.
Class II has a strong North American contingent, with 6 out of the 10 skippers from the USA and Canada, all thirsting for victory on competitive Open 50's and 40's. Ex-Around Alone giant Brad Van Liew (USA, Class II) will be leading his fellow countrymen against formidable Eastern opposition from Viktor Yazykov (RUS, Class II) and Kojiro Shiraishi (JAP, Class II). Also, three yachts to watch, which were built for this kind of event in the last 4 years, but on their first attempt at Around Alone, are Bob Adam's Open 40 'Perseverance' (USA, Class II), a sister-ship to 1998 entrant 'Wind of Change', Tim Kent's (USA, Class II) state-of-the-art Open 50 'Everest Horizontal', and Open 50 'Great Circle', now under John Dennis (CAN, Class II).

Entries Listed by Class
Skipper LOA Boat Name Sail No. Country

Bernard Stamm 60' Bobst Group Armor Lux 7 Switzerland
Bruce Schwab 60' Ocean Planet 5 USA
Gildas Iauch 60' 23 France
Graham Dalton 60' Hexagon 8 New Zealand
Unai Basurko 60' Global Quest Yachting Australia
Marc Thiercelin 60' TBC France
Simone Bianchetti 60' Tiscali Global Challenge 100 Italy
Thierry Dubois 60' Solidaires 50 France

CLASS II - OPEN 50 & 40
Skipper LOA Boat Name Sail No. Country

Adam Lambert 50' TBA Australia
Alan Paris 40' BTC Velocity 441 Bermuda
Bob Adams 40' Perserverance 461 USA
Brad Van Liew 50' Mission America 34 USA
Derek Hatfield 40' Spirit of Canada 84 Canada
Duncan Gladman 50' Canada Challenge Canada
John Dennis 50' Bold Statement 69 Canada
Kojiro Shiraishi 40' Japan
Tim Kent 50' Everest Horizontal 512 USA
Viktor Yazykov 50' TBC 540 Russia

Skipper LOA Boat Name Sail No. Country
George Stricker 60' Tin Can 217 US Virgin Islands

Mary Ambler/News Editor
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