Three of the participants at the start in front of LRochelle
Only at the last moment did all the boats make it to the starting line. Christophe Bullens' “Five Oceans of Smiles” lost its mast on the flyover to LRochelle.
Without further ado, a replacement ship was organized and relabeled so that the Belgian was ready to start on time. The Australian Garry Golding did not reach the line. He did not manage to prove the required qualification miles before the start of the race.
In the best weather, the regatt attracted tens of thousands of spectators to the harbor walls of the French city on the Atlantic coast. After saying goodbye to their families, the skippers were sent on their way around the world by Vice Mayor Maxime Bono and race organizer Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
The first stage ends after about 7500 nautical miles in Cape Town. If you want to follow the race live, you will find a Race Viewer for it at www.velux5oceans.com.