Faking it

Watch Channel 4 next Wednesday night

Friday December 6th 2002, Author: Rachel Anning, Location: United Kingdom
Challenge Business today officially announced its involvement with the Channel 4 BAFTA award winning TV series, 'Faking It'. A programme, featuring the company, is to be aired next week, 11th December 2002 at 9pm.

The critically acclaimed series, which has had record viewing figures, takes members of the general public and trains them to become experts on a subject, activity or profession in just four weeks.

Sir Chay Blyth, executive chairman of Challenge Business, was asked to be a mentor and the company's top training team was called in for the main mission - to tutor a complete fledgling into a competent sailor capable of convincing judges they had been sailing for years.

Challenge Business agreed and, never one to miss a challenge, went one stage further! The company would train the faker, not just on an ordinary sailing boat but aboard one of its 72' Global Challenge Race yachts. It would then put the faker into a five-yacht race against skippers, many of who had been sailing all their lives. A tall order indeed and one that would not only test the individual but the capabilities of the whole training team!

The faker, one might assume, would be a strong, burley person capable of lugging huge ropes around, winching hefty sails up and confident to direct a team within a challenging situation. However, in true 'Faking It style' quite the opposite turned up on the doorstep of Challenge Business. A 29 year-old Weymouth ferry stewardess, Lucy Craig, a petite, perfectly manicured young lady who had never even as much as stepped onto a sailing boat before! Lucy's reactions to her task matched the reactions of the trainers - this was going to be a challenge! And so the training crusade commenced!

Faking It will chart Lucy's progress from a week dinghy sailing with the rising sailing star, Emma Richards, and legendary yachtswoman Tracy Edwards, to Lucy's first experiences of sailing aboard a Global Challenge race yacht and commanding a crew.

Mentor Sir Chay Blyth, comments: "We were delighted when we were approached by the Faking It team and asked to be a part of a show which has had rave reviews and some of the highest audience figures for a mainstream show.

"The ethos of Faking It runs in parallel with our own - that anything is possible and the sport of sailing can be enjoyed by anyone. The show will help to further break down the barriers of sailing that have eluded so many people from the sport in the past and highlights what we have, as a company, made our mission for the past decade. "

Lucy Craig comments: "I can't give the game away but I can say that this was the most incredible experience of my life. You really can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and my trainers were always there to back me 100% of the way, even if I was nervous about doing something including climbing the 95ft mast!

"I was a bit confused when I was told that we were going to race round the cans as I thought this might mean the South of France! However, we did make it to Cherbourg and I even got to wave at the ferries, from the outside! That felt good!

"I'm now thinking hard about continuing the sailing and possibly doing a season in the Caribbean. All I can say is thank you to my trainers at Challenge Business for giving me the confidence to take part and providing me with skills which could change my life."

Challenge Business is taking the lead in bringing sailing into the mainstream press through its very high profile media campaign and significant broadcasting hits.

Faking It is one in a long line of recent TV appearances featuring Challenge Business and its growing portfolio of events and races. Next Monday, 9th December will also see the long awaited, prime time BBC 1 TV show, 999, reconstructing events out at sea during leg five of the BT Global Challenge 2000/01. For the first time in the programme's history, the edition will be split over two weeks, the latter show being screened the following Monday.

Challenge Business has also been the subject of three TV documentaries, examining what makes the company such a success. The first, which was aired in October, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Global Challenge and documented the race, which, like the Faking It show, enables the ordinary person to achieve the extraordinary.
Granada Sport has also documented Challenge Business' newest event, the Challenge Transat, due to be aired this Sunday, 8th November 2002 at 17.45. This first race saw six identical 72' Global Challenge yachts race from Southampton to Boston and back. The documentary will chart everything from the rigorous training the Crew Volunteers went through to footage taken from the actual race where the yachts were hit by storms
including Hurricane Gustav.

Solent TV is also making a documentary about the Challenge Transat following Crew Volunteers and a mate who come from the Isle of Wight, which is due to be shown in the New Year.

More TV appearances will follow for the company next year, when its two brand new Round Britain and Ireland races commence - one for the professional skipper and crew, sponsored by EDS, and one for the non-professional, which is being run in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph.

So, finally, does Lucy Fake It? You'll have to wait and see! Channel 4, 9pm next Wednesday.

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