A New Challenge

Cambridge, 31st August 2002
The middle of July saw an email hit my inbox from the Challenge Business. "Brand New 'Round Britain Challenge' in association with the Daily Telegraph" read the subject. At a time when most businesses are consolidating and corporate sponsorship is drying up, the Challenge Business launch a new race. It's aims are similar to the Global Challenge, and the Challenge Transat: to introduce high level ocean racing to people that wouldn't normally get a chance.

I think it's a case of in for a pound in for a penny. The race is next April, will last a couple of weeks, and will both be a great experience in itself and also great experience for the round the world race. And I'll be onboard! I applied, and was told that since I've already had an interview with Challenge I didn't have to have another, so that was it: I'd got the place.

It looks to be the same format as the RTW race, but just compressed. Training takes place this autumn and next spring; I'll be able to miss some of it, but will do one of the training sails. I'm also out at the end of November for the Development sail, the 9 day sail for the Global Challenge. We get assigned crews; there will be a skipper and mate aboard, in contrast with the Global Challenge where there is only the skipper. I guess that we'll hear more about it nearer the time, but it does give me a very immediate goal to think about, rather than something that is still 2 years away.

It should be great fun, so I'm looking forward to doing quite a bit of sailing in the next 8 months.