Velux 5 Oceans fleet charges towards La Rochelle finish line

The entire Velux 5 Oceans fleet
Ainhoa Sanchez
Velux 5 Oceans is the ultimate solo challenge and is the longest round the world yacht race at 30,000 nautical miles.

The fleet of the Velux 5 Oceans race is charging towards the La Rochelle finish line to complete their solo circumnavigations and the first arrival of the race, that started in the historic French port back in October 2010, is expected today (Friday 27th May).

All four remaining skippers have covered 30,000 miles alone at sea, battling extreme weather, extended periods of solitude and some of the hardest sailing imaginable over the course of the five gruelling ocean sprints. Now just over 170 miles separates them and with around 500 miles left to cover they should arrive from this afternoon onwards.

Brad Van Liew from Charleston, SC (USA) has so far won each leg of this edition of the oldest solo, round-the-world yacht race, and his points lead is unassailable. Brad is being chased to the line by three rivals: Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski (POL) who in turn is locked in his own battle for overall second place with Derek Hatfield (CAN), and Chris Stanmore-Major (GBR).

From La Rochelle, the Velux 5 Oceans fleet raced to Cape Town (RSA), Wellington (NZ), Punta del Este (URU), and Charleston (USA) before heading back across the Atlantic.

The first boat is expected to finish in La Rochelle, France late this afternoon, with the next arrivals only a few hours behind.

Velux 5 Oceans website