The Oki European Challenge 2005 was announced earlier today at the Southampton International Boat Show

Introduced by Steve Anscell earlier today, Japanese electronics manufacturer Oki announced themselves as title sponsor of the Oki European Challenge which will take place over the summer of 2005.

The Oki European Challenge 2005 will see 15 evenly matched Beneteau First 47.7 yachts race in 11 separate legs around Europe. The yachts will call in at 13 ports in 11 different countries. Starting in Poland they will visit Germany, Sweden, Holland, UK – hopefully for Skandia Cowes Week and the Fastnet race, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy, before finishing in Monte Carlo.

Michael Kay, Race Director is the driving force behind the Oki European Challenge and hopes that the race will draw entries across Europe from experienced sailors to complete beginners, as long as they are, “adventurous and adaptable”.

However, with one professional skipper and nine crew aboard each of the 15 boats, places will be limited. A crew berth costs £9,950 which will include a crew place aboard a stylish new Beneteau First 47.7, food and Henri Lloyd sailing gear.

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