Knox-Johnston: He’s one of 11, thus far

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The Velux 5 Oceans will pit — at last count — 11 single-handers in a 30,000-mile race around the world that starts and finishes in Bilbao, Spain, with stops in Fremantle, Australia, and Norfolk, Va.

The Velux 5 Oceans will pit — at last count — 11 single-handers in a 30,000-mile race around the world that starts and finishes in Bilbao, Spain, with stops in Fremantle, Australia, and Norfolk, Va.

Read the other story in this package: At 67, Sir Robin is itching for an encore

As of early July, 10 skippers had registered their intent to race in the Open 60 class: Briton Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss, Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm on Poujoulat Cheminees, Canadian Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada, American Doug Hoffman, Chilean Felipe Cubillos, Japanese Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh, Briton Mike Golding on Ecover, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Grey Power, American Tim Troy on Margaret Anna, and Spaniard Unai Basurko on BBK. The single Open 50 entry is New Zealander Graham Dalton on A Southern Man-A.G.D.

The race starts Oct. 22 in Bilbao, stops in early December in Fremantle, and again in early March in Norfolk, finishing in Bilbao in late April — about six months of racing. Layovers are about a month.

The Velux 5 Oceans is the successor to the Around Alone and BOC Challenge, which began running in 1982. It is a quadrennial race now owned and run by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Clipper Ventures Plc (www.clipper-ventures.co.uk).