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Dartmouth battle on for yacht race

Dartmouth is locked in a David and Goliath battle to win a major sailing coup which would also give the town a huge economic boost.
The town is in the running to host one of the legs of next year’s La Solitaire du Figaro sail racing circuit which is expected to bring hundreds of top sailors, their back-up teams and the supporters who follow them to the port.
But Dartmouth is up against Plymouth which is also bidding to become the first UK port for many years to become a stop over point for the hugely popular French-run international sailing event.
Whoever wins will get the kudos and the cash for the four days that the contestants and their 45ft sailing boats will be in the harbour before setting out on the next section of the four-legged race covering a 1,800-mile course.
If Dartmouth wins it will also mean bringing the race to Kingswear sailing hero Henry Bomby’s home port. The 22-year-old sailor has competed in the French race two years running and this year came in 24th out of 41 yachts.
Representatives from the race are due in Dartmouth on Monday next week to hold talks with various representatives – including the Royal Dart Yacht Club which is one of the driving forces behind the Dartmouth bid.
They will be there to see what the town can offer in the way of facilities for both the yachtsmen and their boats.
A spokesman for the Royal Dart Yacht Club stressed that nothing had yet been decided but added: ‘It would be a major and prestigious event for Dartmouth.
‘The yacht club is very interested in a visit from the Solitaire du Figaro and we are currently negotiating to see if we can bring it to the town.’
Next year will be the 44th year the international race has been competed for. As well as Dartmouth and Plymouth, St Helier on the Channel Islands is also vying for the UK leg of the racing.

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