Well-known Russian yachtsman Viktor Yazykov has begun preparations for next year's transoceanic race, which will begin in September 2002. The race, which will involve the world's best yachtsmen, will set off from Newport (U.S.A.) and proceed to Plymouth (UK), then to Cape Town (South Africa) and again to Newport. Yazykov's participation in the race is sponsored only by Russian businesses. Yazykov was the first Russian yachtsman to take part in a round-the-world international yachting race. In the course of the 1998-1999 race, he circled the globe in seven months and 13 days and made it into the world's best skippers. Yazykov's courage won him respect of millions of people. During the race, when he was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, he declined to withdraw from the race because of health problems and performed a difficult surgical operation on himself while staying in his yacht.