Trans-Atlantic sailboat race is scheduled to begin today

This is a file photo of some of the boats in a previous race leaving Le Havre

The Transat Jacques Vabre is supposed to be well under way today by midmorning here. The starting time is 3 p.m. in Le Havre, France.

This is the 10th edition of the cross Atlantic boat race and the second to have Limón, Costa Rica, as a finish.

The race start was delayed 50 hours by bad weather. Organizers say that the crews still will face a tough Channel with south southwest winds in the 15 to 20 knot region. They expect a front to pass and that the winds will shift to the northwest. That will give a boost to the 35 boats in the race.

Some skippers said they expect winds in the 50 knot range once they reach open sea.
Monohulls have a 4,730-mile course to traverse. They pass by the Dominican Republic. Multihulls travel further.

That course is 5,323 miles in the southern Caribbean.

The first boat is expected to reach Costa Rica in 13 to 14 days. The last race to Costa Rica was in 2009.

Then the multi-hull Crêpes Whaou! crossed the finish line off Puerto Limón the night of Nov. 23 to claim victory.

The Crêpes Whaou! took 15 days, 15 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds to travel from Le Havre. Race organizers compute their average speed at 13.41 knots over the 5,805 miles.

The race is sponsored in part by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, which hopes it attracts visitors to the country.

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