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Around Alone in U.S. sea tribute

New York
The boat parade is seen as a 'symbol of hope and beauty' for New York  

LONDON, England -- The start of the single-handed Around Alone yacht race has been moved to allow sailors to participate in a sailing tribute to America.

The race was due to start from Newport, Rhode Island on September 15, but will now start on September 12, organiser Clipper Ventures said.

The one-off "Sail for America" parade will be held on September 14 in New York Harbour to commemorate the events of the 11th September 2001.

Around Alone competitors will sail in 160-mile crewed race from Newport to New York on the 12th September prior to the parade.

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"The official Around Alone start on Sunday 15th September on a start line between Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty will be the final act (of the parade), and the message that New York is 'setting sail' again will be taken around the world," said Michael Fortenbaugh, Commodore of the Manhattan Yacht Club and head of the "Sail For America" organising committee.

"The goal is to fill New York Harbour on Saturday 14th September with thousands of sails, a symbol of hope and beauty, to mark the rebirth of the City of New York and the soaring spirit of America."

New York's deputy mayor, Daniel Doctoroff, said the city was honoured by the inclusion of Around Alone boats.

"This is a highly symbolic act of solidarity with our City, which will capture the hearts of our citizens and the country."

French competitor Marc Thiercelin, veteran of three solo circumnavigations, and runner-up in the 1998/9 Around Alone, sent a message of support.

"To set off from New York one year after the tragedy and to show that man continues on his way in freedom over both land and also the oceans is a true symbol of the future.

This will be a very poignant homage to the innocent."

The Around Alone 2002 is a single-handed round-the-world race with stops in Torbay, England, Cape Town, South Africa, Tauranga, New Zealand and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil before returning to Newport in April 2003.

The official entry list stands at 19 skippers from 11 different countries, with eight in Class I (Open 60 monohulls), 10 in Class II (Open 50 and 40ft monohulls), and one in the Venturer Class.


• Around Alone gets NZ stopover
April 10, 2002

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