This week, thirty sailboats have begun leaving Newport on the 2,975 nautical mile Transatlantic Race 2011 to England. Due to the various classes and sizes of the 30 boats entered — ranging from 40 to 289 feet — there are three separate starts. The first two waves left Sunday and Wednesday. The last boats depart on July 3.
While trans-Atlantic races have traditionally left from New York, this is the first to go from Newport. The boat that finishes with the fastest elapsed time will set the benchmark from Newport to Lizard Point in southwestern England, to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council.
Pictured above is The Maltese Falcon, which departed on Wednesday in the largest group of yachts. Built by Perini Navi, the 'Falcon' is a clipper sailing luxury yacht, commissioned and formerly owned by American venture capitalist Tom Perkins. It is one of the largest privately-owned sailing yachts in the world at 88 m (289 ft).