Offshore

Solitude is the very essence of the Mini-Transat.

If the number of entrants was to exceed the expected 150, it would make the 2019 race the fourth largest in Sydney Hobart history.

Around 220 everyday people set sail from Portimão, Portugal to race across the Atlantic Ocean to Punta del Este in Uruguay.

Prior to the start on 22 September, there will be entertainment every day and some exceptional patrons will christen the Mini 6.50s.

The race will be the centrepiece of a summer of major yachting events, starting with the Rolex Sydney Hobart and finishing in time for RNZYS’s 150th Anniversary celebrations and the 36th America’s Cup.

The Netherlands has had a strong presence in the event since the early days of the Whitbread Round the World Race when Connie Van Rietschoten won back to back victories in the 1977-78 and 1981-82 editions.

For the first time, the Azimut Challenge will last five days, instead of the usual three.

Australia's waterways cleaning team, Ocean Crusaders, is organising beach clean-ups in Sydney Harbour and the River Derwent, hoping crews and supporters will get involved.

Punta del Este, skippered by Jeronimo from Spain, has a crew ranging in age from 20 to 76 years old and with 19 nationalities including Uruguay, Finland, Australia and Canada.

Many regular sailors do not get to surf at a constant 25 knots, but that is what novices are presently experiencing in the Clipper Race.

In all, eight brand new IMOCAs will have been built for the 2020 Vendée Globe, confirming the commanding success of a thriving IMOCA class.

Held at irregular intervals since 1925, the next race in 2020 will be the 16th edition of this longest of the Pacific yacht races.

Among the 90 entries, who represent 13 nationalities, 12 are ‘repeat offenders’, so the vast majority will be rookies setting out to take on the Atlantic.

Enright and Towill are aiming for their third round-the-world race dating back to 2014 after previous campaigns with Team Alvimedica (2014-15) and Vestas 11th Hour Racing (2017-18).

Up first was Punta del Este, matching the sunny day with its even sunnier demeanor.