Derek Hatfield secures a title sponsor

Active House steps in to back Canadian Velux 5 Oceans competitor

Saturday September 11th 2010, Author: Spirit of Canada, Location: Canada

Canadian solo sailor Derek Hatfield is heading full speed for the Velux 5 Oceans start line after securing a title sponsor for his campaign. For the forthcoming race the 57-year-old solo sailor will be sponsored by Active House, a global alliance of companies, research institutions and other organisations promoting sustainable buildings.

The title sponsorship is the last piece in the puzzle for Derek, who purchased Rich Wilson's proven Eco 60 Great American III (originally Thierry Dubois' Solidaires) in March and has since notched up more than 10,000 miles at sea in preparation for the solo race around the world with stops. Derek's Eco 60 Spirit of Canada will now be renamed Active House and will display the Active House Alliance's livery on the yacht's hulls, decks and sails.

“I couldn't be happier to be teaming up with Active House for the Velux 5 Oceans,” Derek said. “The Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges team has worked hard for a long time with many partners and supporters to see our project realised. Active House has a wonderful approach to sustainability and looking after the planet, something that is very close to my heart and that will play a key role in my Velux 5 Oceans campaign. I have a very special affinity with the race, having competed in it before winning class three. With Active House as title sponsor our dreams of taking part in my second Velux 5 Oceans are well and truly alive.”

Mikkel Skott Olsen, from Active House, said “Active House is proud to be sponsoring Derek Hatfield in the Velux 5 Oceans 2010. The Active House Alliance was just launched this summer, and the sponsorship offers a platform to raise awareness about Active House and attract more international members to the alliance. The opportunity was a particularly attractive proposition, not only to create global awareness over nine months, but because the race and its key stakeholders share common values with Active House. This synergy of ideas, combined with the Eco 60 class and Derek’s commitment to circumnavigate the world without using fossil fuels, supports our vision. Derek is a fantastic skipper and we wish him all the best in this incredible endeavour.”

Active House is a vision of buildings that give more than they take. It proposes a target framework for how to design and renovate buildings that contribute positively to human health and well-being by focusing on the indoor and outdoor environment and the use of renewable energy. Active House is also a network that facilitates experience sharing in the building trades and prepares the way for propagation of a new international sustainable building standard.

In training for the solo round the world race Hatfield has sailed more than 10,000 miles on Active House including the delivery of the yacht from France to Canada and two return voyages from his home port of Lunenburg, to Bermuda. Derek also took line honours in the 350-mile Route Halifax Saint-Pierre race, setting a new course record in the process.

“The boat performs brilliantly, and much better than my last Open 60,” he added. “Every time we go out sailing I learn something new about her. We've clocked up a lot of sea miles since taking it on in March. It has been great training and I really feel like I know the boat well.”

Hatfield is currently making final preparations to Active House before saying his final goodbyes on Sunday, setting sail for La Rochelle and the start. “It is a very exciting time,” Derek added. “We have a lot to do before next Sunday but we are on top of everything, we are geared up for it and I am now just really looking forward to it.”

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