Team Adventure Get Rolling

Cam Lewis makes crucial weather and navigational appointments

Tuesday September 12th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
There are three serious contenders for The Race in or out of the water at the moment, and PlayStation, Team Philips and Club Med have been comfortably hogging the headlines as a consequence. But still building in France are two more of the Gilles Ollier catamarans, sisterships to Club Med.

One of these has Cam Lewis' name on it, and will race as Team Adventure. Lewis was aboard Explorer with Bruno Peyron, instigator of The Race, when they were the first to break the fabled 80 day round the world time and take the first Jules Verne Trophy. Lewis' been pushing hard to skipper his own entry in Peyron's event ever since.

And yesterday Lewis got another step closer, with the announcement of some key players in the programme. The first of these is Jean-Yves Bernot as co-navigator. Bernot has long been a major player in this area, having coached and weather routed many of the top short-handed sailors - including Ellen MacArthur. He was also weather consultant to Innovation Kvaerner in the last Whitbread and the European Union team in the last Admiral's Cup. Bernot will join Larry Rosenfeld aboard the boat as co-navigator, Rosenfeld is also Executive Director of the project.

The shore support on the weather - external routing advice is allowed - will come from Bill Biewenga and Commander's Weather. Biewenga is an old Whitbread hand and will sail with the boat during training. That will enable him to provide on-shore experience of the boat's actual performance for the Met specialists during The Race. Ken Campbell and the team at Commanders' Weather have made a strong name for themselves providing weather information both offshore and inshore. They worked with the Japanese team at the last two America's Cups, and with Swedish Match in the last Whitbread.

Lewis made a point which mirrors those comments made by Neal McDonald in his interview with last week. Lewis said, "The challenge is daunting. For the first time in yacht racing history, boats are being built that will actually sail faster than the weather systems. This presents a very unique challenge for the weather routers and onboard navigators."

Lewis also pinned down his programme a little more, the hoped-for launch date is mid-October (but, as the saying goes, the only person to ever launch a boat on time was Noah). They hope to do a couple of weeks sea trials and crew training in late-October, before attempting the Round Britain record in early November. Then it's back to the yard for a quick refit and heading down to the Mediterranean and Monaco for the prologue and final Race preparations.

So this particular maxi-cat will be taking on the Southern Ocean without having even crossed the Atlantic. And we think Pete Goss has got a bit on.

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