April 21, 2016, Newport, Rhode Island -- Three IMOCA 60 teams participating in the Calero Marinas Solo Transat have nearly reached the halfway mark in their race across the Atlantic Ocean, which left from Marina Lanzarote in the Canary Islands on April 12. The three teams racing in this event are Un Vendee Pour La Suisse skippered by Alan Roura (SUI), Face Ocean skippered by Sebastien Destremau (FRA) and No Way Back skippered by Pieter Heerema (NED). All three teams have entered to qualify for the Vendee Globe, a non-stop solo around the world race which leaves from les Sables d'Olonne, France on November 6, are expected to arrive in Newport, Rhode Island, on approximately April 28 and will be berthed at Newport Shipyard. 

"It has been an exciting race to follow and although Sebastien on Face Ocean had a rip in his mainsail earlier this week, he managed to put his sailmaking skills to work to repair it and it looks like all three skippers are making good progress on their way to Newport," said Eli Dana, Newport Shipyard's general manager. "Hopefully the teams won't have any more issues but if they do, we can help them make repairs when they arrive here at the Shipyard," Dana said.

Two of the teams, Face Ocean and No Way Back, will also participate in the Transat New York-Vendee, which leaves from New York City on May 29th and is part of the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship." We look forward to having No Way Back and eight other teams stay here for a technical stop over prior to the Transat New York-Vendee," Dana continued. "We invite members of the public to come down and check them out, they are very high performance 60-foot monohulls with outriggers and lifting foils." Most boats will be berthed at Newport Shipyard from May 15 through May 21, when they race in a Pro-Am event to New York.

Sail Newport, Rhode Island's public sailing center, is organizing the finish line for the Calero Marinas Solo Transat and a prize giving will be held at the Clarke Cooke House to honor all three teams shortly after their arrival. The public is invited to attend this celebration and more information will be provided once the teams are closer to the finish. "The Sail Newport team looks forward to their arrival and it essentially kicks off a very busy summer for sailing events in Newport," said Brad Read, Sail Newport's executive director. "We are gearing up for the World Match Race Tour, which will be held here at Fort Adams May 30 through June 4 featuring 20 teams racing M32 high performance catamarans, in addition to many other exciting regattas and events. Sailing fans should look forward to a busy and fun summer ahead that will showcase exciting sailboat racing in the waters off of Newport," Read said.

For more information on the Calero Marinas Solo Transat, contact Melanie Symes, To follow the teams on the official race tracker, visit:

©Billy Black

©Billy Black

Veronica Brown, Newport Shipyard, 401-846-6000,
Kim Cooper, Sail Newport, 401-846-1983,