More troubled waters for The Race

Team Adventure still short of funding

Friday October 6th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Club Med - at least she's sailing Cam Lewis' entry for The Race - Team Adventure - is the third of the Gilles Ollier catamarans, sistership to Club Med. They were hoping for a launch in mid-October, but it now looks like it will be closer to the end of the month. They are also doing the same modification that has been done to Club Med, after the crash box failed. The bows have been redesigned and reinforced, with the forefoot reduced - Lewis reckons that this will also make the boat easier to steer in waves. Good news for Team Adventure is that the National Geographic has joined their education project as an online partner. They plan to launch a website covering the crew's round the world sail, which should launch on December 6th.

More troubling both for Lewis and Director of The Race, Bruno Peyron, will be the continued shortfall in Team Adventure's budget. Lewis reports that although they have raised over US$4.5 million, they will need another US$1.2 million in the next three weeks to get the boat into the water - and they are then dependent on the launch triggering another US$3 million of corporate sponsorship, money still required to complete the race. That's a lot of money in a very short time and a huge 'if' hanging over their participation. With Team Philips back in Dartmouth today, Steve Fossett's PlayStation undergoing some radical surgery to add twenty feet to the overall length, only Club Med is out on the water doing the business. And there are just three months left to the start gun.

Team Adventure's current schedule has them leaving for the Med straight after early sea trials, completing their (recently reduced) requirement for a qualifying sail on the way down, and then training in the Mediterranean until the start of the prologue in mid-December. Talking to some of the Club Med guys about how much work they've had to do to sort their boat out since it was launched - even without the bow repair - this is a very tall order. But having said that, my one short sail on Club Med was more than enough to convince me that the world is a much more exciting place for the existence of these amazing machines. Whether The Race gets off on time or not, there's going to be some fantastic sailing done by these boats sooner or later.

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