TWO BRITISH skippers will be battling it out to become the first in the country to win the round-the-world race for 40 years.

Not since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston sailed into the record books as the victor of the Golden Globe back in 1969 has a British skipper won a solo challenge.

But that could be about to change as Sir Robin himself has today announced not one but two UK sailors will compete in the Velux 5 Oceans.

Chris Stanmore-Major, 32, from Cowes and Simon Chalk, 37, will both go head-to-head with an international fleet of skippers in the gruelling 30,000-mile solo yacht race which starts in October.

Chris will race Sir Robin’s boat Saga Insurance, which had originally been chartered by 19-year-old Oscar Mead, from Cowes, but he has withdrawn his entry to concentrate on his studies at Solent University.

Chris said: “Solo sailing is certainly new territory but that is the challenge. Everything comes down to the individual and if something goes wrong there is nowhere to hide – it’s just me, the boat and the ocean.”