Spice girl trials

Selection process now underway to gain a spot on the Class 40 Concise for this November's transat race

Tuesday July 29th 2008, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
Friday 25 July saw the first trials for the all girl crew due to race the Class 40 Concisein the forthcoming Spice Race from the Solent from Grenada at the end of theyear. Potential 'Spice Racers', Carrie Biggs, Jamie Harris and Eleanor Littlejohn put the Class 40 yacht through its paces on the Solent, under the watchful eye of Spice Race organiser, Lizzie Shawcroft and Concise Captain, Ned Collier-Wakefield.

The hopeful Spice Girls took Concise up the Solent before performing a series of gybes under spinnaker back towards their home base in the Hamble.

Having followed their efforts from the pursuit boat and later talked to the girls onshore, Spice Race CEO, Tony Lawson said that "the girls seemed really keen to work together and there was a lot less grandstanding than you would probably have had with a bunch of guys in a similar situation. That sort of attitude should help us to get a really good crew together over the next couple of months. The wind was only moderate so the girls didn't get the real Class 40 thing. Concise has clocked 27 knots and we only did 14 today, but that probably wasn't a bad thing in the circumstances."

The Spice Race, starts on 15 November 2008 from the Royal Squadron line in Cowes, before the 4,321 mile transatlantic run to Port Louis, Grenada. It is already attracting a great deal of attention. The organisers are seeking to hold "an event within an event" with several National Ladies Teams racing against each other offshore, for the first time. Currently there are teams from England and Holland showing interest, with a chance of additional competitors from America, France and Ireland.

Trials for the Spice Girls will continue through July and August, with the team being announced during the first week of September. Concise is still accepting trialists and are encouraging any girls who are interested in the race to apply as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, interest in the main event for Class 40 and IRC yachts continues to build, with enquiries coming from all over the world including China, Norway, South Africa, Germany, France and the UK.

As well as boats wanting to race, there have been enquiries from people who want to charter boats and individuals looking for crew positions, both paid and paying. For more information on the Spice Race, including Notice of Race, details of partner companies, crew opportunities and entry forms, can be found at www.spicerace.com

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