Yachting through charity

Graham Dalton explains to madforsailing the secret of his sponsorship with megabank HSBC
Graham Dalton's new Open 60 is special in a number of ways. While these days most Open 60s are built for the Vendee Globe, which is the ultimate event for this class, Hexagon, as the boat is called, is the first in recent years to be built specifically for the Around Alone. As this singlehanded round the world race has stops then the theory goes that a boat built especially for it need not be built so robustly compared to one tailored to the Vendee. While this is impressive and will no doubt turn a few heads when Hexagon reaches the UK in June, equally unusual about the project is that it is the first full-on Open 60 project to come from the southern hemisphere, odd when New Zealand has been so strong in other areas of yachting. And then there's the funding for the project - Graham Dalton doesn't refer to it as sponsorship - from a giant international bank based on the other side of the globe... The money for Hexagon has come from HSBC, which boasts some 6,500 offices in 78 countries around the world, and who have their headquarters in London. So the cheque was not signed by Dalton's friendly bank manager, but by a little known sideline of the bank called the HSBC Education Trust, a global organisation that specialises in providing primary and secondary education for disadvantaged children around the world. How on earth did this come to pass? "We pitched in a different way," Dalton explained to madforsailing. "I see a boat or a boat race as a delivery vehicile. It could be a car race or jumping off a mountain top or driving a car to the north pole. So that's the way we treated it. We didn't push the boat race. It