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Sailors race solo across an ocean

The Artemis Transat kicked off its 12th running May 11 in Plymouth, England, with calm winds and clear skies, according to the race press release.

The departure of the 13 skippers, who sailed out of the harbor at about 9 knots, was followed by 1,000 spectator boats. The starting gun was fired by Mike Golding, winner of the 2004 Artemis Transat, aboard the Royal Navy ship HMS Argyll. The racers are bound for the finish line at Boston and Marblehead, Mass.

Each of the skippers from various countries is sailing 60-footers and must cross the Atlantic by themselves. The predicted weather for the crossing will fluctuate because of a low pressure system over Spain, according to the report. The 13-boat fleet will have to deal with alternately steady breezes and slack winds.

The race began in 1960 with five participants and is held every four years. It is sponsored by Britain’s Artemis Investment Management Limited.

For information and to track the racers online, visit

— Elizabeth Ellis