Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 15:26 UK

Solo sailors set sail on Transat

Yacht sailing
The Transat was the world's first solo yacht race

More than 20 sailors from around the world have set sail on the 2008 Transat yacht race.

Competitors taking part in the solo sprint across the Atlantic left Plymouth, Devon, on Sunday.

Alex Bennett, from Devon, is sailing the 40ft (12m) yacht Fujifilm. Steve White from Dorset will be at the helm of the 60ft (18m) Spirit of Weymouth.

The finish line is in Boston, USA. The 2,800 mile (4,500km) race is expected to take about 21 days.

The Transat was the world's first solo yacht race and takes place every four years.

It began in Plymouth in 1960 after a bet of half a crown between Sir Francis Chichester and Blondie Hasler to see who could race the Atlantic the fastest.

This year, the route will take competitors northwards, where they may have to contend with icebergs and fog.

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