SINGLEHANDED: The Ultimate Solo Challenge 2.0
Published on April 1st, 2013
After the 30,000nm singlehanded 2010-11 Velux 5 Oceans race attracted only five skippers racing outdated Open 60s, the 2014-15 edition will be merging with the popular television show ‘The Amazing Race’ to revitalize what was once considered The Ultimate Solo Challenge.
The race will now be clue-based, with each skipper handed the information just prior to the start of each leg. Only then will they learn of their port destination, and during the route they must solve a series of clues that will help them find the “Pit Stops” at the end of each leg to win prizes and to avoid coming in last, which carries the possibility of elimination or a significant disadvantage in the following leg.
“I have to admit my victory in the last race was a bit of joke,” explained American Brad Van Liew. “I had the best boat, and likely would have won even if the rest of the fleet didn’t see their aging Open 60s falter. Fan interest waned as the race dragged on, but given the enormous popularity of ‘The Amazing Race’, this plan should make the race relevant again.”
An additional change will be to move from the Open 60 to the Volvo Open 70, which is no longer used by the Volvo Ocean Race. “Singlehanding the VO70 will raise the stakes,” admitted Van Liew, “but after the Vendee Globe skippers blitzed the planet in their Open 60s, a move to the VO 70 will again elevate the Velux 5 Oceans as The Ultimate Solo Challenge.”