The last waypoint before the destination is the place where the equator and the prime meridian intersect. That is - about 4,000 miles from the start in Marseilles - south of the coast of Benin in Africa.
Despite or perhaps because of the unusual routing of the new "Equator Regatta", the four-man crew around the skipper of the Open 50 "Sailcom", Rodolphe Jacq (33), wants to attack the route on June 5th. Also present: Boris Herrmann (23), the project initiator with experience in minitransfers.
The regatta along the African Kopntinant, which is mainly aimed at professional crews, is open to Volvo Ocean Racers (four of the 60-foot veterans have registered), Open 60s, Open 50s and large IRC yachts. Stars of the extreme sailing scene have already confirmed their participation: Philippe Monnet, Sébastien Josse and Bertrand de Broc. A total of seven crews have entered the starting list so far.
Arnaud Brossière and Jean Bernard complete the team at the Open 50 "Sailcom" constructed in 1997 by the elite designers at Groupe Finot. Carbon fiber yacht and parts of the crew (Herrmann and Jacq) are identical to the group that wants to start the Transat Jacques Vabre (France - Brazil) in November.
There was once the very popular RegattLBaule - Dakar, which took the yachts along a similar route. However, it was not that long: there has never been a regatta that directly linked France and Black Africa (after all, the destination Brazzaville was once a colony of France).
More information: www.route-equateur.com