In total more than 200 interested skippers have requested the application forms and completed entries have been coming in thick and fast. But, there is still another two weeks to go before the closing date on 14 December so potential skippers are still being encouraged to submit their entry forms for what will undoubtedly be the adventure of their lives.
In a bid to find the best, men and women from around the globe are being invited to apply as skippers for the race, which pits 12 identical 72ft yachts against one another made ever more challenging by its route, east to west, against prevailing winds and currents.
On board each yacht will be one professional skipper - and a crew of 17 made up of men and women from all walks of life and nationalities. Crew, who are known as Crew Volunteers, have already been selected and a healthy reserve list holds names of eager hopefuls keen to join the race. Popularity is evident as the Crew Volunteer berths for the race were full before the Global Challenge 2000/01, sponsored by BT, had even set sail.
Simon Walker, managing director, Challenge Business, comments: "The response so far has been fantastic, but the deadline is approaching for any skippers still thinking about taking part. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and for the skippers who do make the grade, the Global Challenge will be the race and adventure of their life - a race which has been dubbed the 'world's toughest yacht race'.
A skipper's personality and leadership skills play a key part in their selection. However the skippers' qualifications will also need to include UK Ocean Yacht Master or equivalent, over 25,000 logged sea miles, offshore/ocean racing experience, strong commercial orientation and fluency in written and spoken English.
"The next Global Challenge promises to be the best one to date," continues Walker; "As our global village gets ever smaller, more and more people from around the world are finding out about this extraordinary race and applying so to reflect this we've extending our search for skippers with a major international recruitment campaign." [Saying this, they have yet to find an event sponsor - ED]
"As you can probably imagine the selection process will be fairly intensive, with several phases used to whittle down the competition towards the final 12," explains Jeremy Troughton, Sailing Manager and skipper of Logica in the 2000-2001 BT Global Challenge. "It will include a variety of assessments designed to not only test the skipper's skills on the water, but also their ability to lead and manage a diverse, but highly talented team of people, in some of the toughest conditions known to mankind."
The Global Challenge breeds skippers of the highest quality, and provides the perfect springboard from which to launch successful careers, whether in sailing or in business. Examples of these include, Mike Golding, Pete Goss, and all of the skippers that competed in the last Global Challenge Race in 2000.
Application forms can be obtained from Challenge Business. Contact Suzie Creak, +44 (0) 2380 715 300 or email@example.com or visit the job vacancies section of the Challenge Business website