Global Ocean Race - Go Girls !

Global Ocean Race - Go Girls !

Saturday March 19 2011 Author: Owen Clarke Design Location: United Kingdom

The Anglo-German, all-female offshore racing team of Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken have secured the charter of Peter Harding’s 2009 Owen Clarke Design Class40, 40 Degrees, for the double-handed Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) starting from Palma, Mallorca, on 25th September this year. Jenner and Renken left the UK on Wednesday, flying to Guadeloupe to join the boat and will sail 40 Degrees double-handed to the Azores, completing their GOR qualifying voyage. Between them, the duo has sailed over 200,000 nautical miles including valuable ocean racing and shorthanded sailing experience. Jenner was the first female skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race and took her team to a podium finish, while Renken has moved to sailing from a windsurfing and semi-pro swimming background as one of the very few female sailors in the German offshore racing circuit. Renken skippered and trained a German team in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race and was the first German woman to participate in the extremely demanding, double-handed Watski Skagerak 2 Star in Norway last year.

Now in Guadeloupe, Jenner and Renken will meet with Conrad Colman, and inspect 40 Degrees before trial sailing with the New Zealand yachtsman. “We expect to leave Guadeloupe on Wednesday”.

During the qualifying voyage, Jenner and Renken will focus on practicing their media  skills. “We’ll send blogs, images and video direct from the boat to our shore based team in England and Germany,” Renken explained. In a highly creative initiative, the duo are inviting members of the media to join 40 Degrees in the Azores and complete the transatlantic crossing on board their Class40. The girls will be updating the team website and their Twitter site @GORGirls as they sail across Atlantic.

Their Class40 already has a formidable racing pedigree: launched at Jaz Marine, Cape Town, in September 2009, the Owen Clarke Design Jaz40 MkII has had a full schedule of offshore racing including the double-handed, transatlantic 2009 La Solidaire du Chocolat raced by Peter Harding and GOR entry, Miranda Merron; the double-handed 2010 Normandy Channel Race when Harding was joined by Merron’s GOR co-skipper, Halvard Mabire; the 2010 RORC Caribbean 600 and most recently in the single-handed, transatlantic Route du Rhum skippered by GOR entry Conrad Colman. Once in Europe, the GOR’s only all-female team are planning a busy, double-handed racing programme before taking the boat to Palma, Mallorca, for the GOR pre-start build up. In May, Jenner and Renken will join three other GOR teams in the Class40 Normandy Channel Race fleet; in June, they will compete in the 540 mile BNY Mellon Biscay Challenge from the Solent to Spain with a return to the Azores the following month in the Les Sables - Horta - Les Sables Race.

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