1998–Record-breaking sailor Cam Lewis today declares his intent to join “The RACE” as the only North American entrant. The RACE is the first ever no limits, non-stop, no assistance, around the world crewed sailing event. It begins December 31, 2000 and finishes some 65 days later. Lewis joins over 20 other declared entrants from 15 countries. Lewis will officially announce his entry, unveiling plans for his catamaran and introducing his team members at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco at 1:00 p.m., today.
For The RACE, Lewis is designing and building the world’s largest and fastest ocean-racing catamaran. This catamaran will measure 125 feet in length and 50 feet in width with a mast height above water of 165 feet. The boat will be capable of speeds close to 50 miles per hour. Sponsors including Yale Cordage, Team McLube, Phase One, Concentra Corporation, Peabody & Arnold LLP, and Schwartz Communications, have already committed to aiding Lewis in the development of this unique craft (editors: please see accompanying release).
Lewis, the 1993 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and a Guinness Book of World Records-holder, will compete in The RACE as skipper/CEO of Team Adventure/USA, part of Adventure Learning Network (ALN). Lewis founded ALN as a non-profit educational organization dedicated to bringing the world of true adventure to the classroom through the Internet. ALN selected The RACE as the pilot adventure to launch its programming as The RACE’s objectives provide an exciting educational platform. These objectives include a celebration of the millennium through the combination of high technology with the natural environment, the unification of the different maritime cultures in the pursuit of a common goal and an illustration of human potential for the 21st century.
“I’m excited to join the world’s top sailors in this quest to set new records in a venue never before attempted,” said Cam Lewis. “I’m working with top boat designers to create a catamaran that will carry me and Team Adventure/USA to victory in the new millennium. As the only representative of my country, I hope to engage my fellow Americans in the sporting event of the century.”
“After winning the Jules Verne Trophy in the inaugural race in 1993, I began to dream of an international sailing event that would test the skills and endurance of the world’s top sailors,” said Bruno Peyron, creator of The RACE. “I’m very pleased that my good friend and frequent sailing companion, Cam Lewis, will be participating in this exciting challenge.”
–About Team Adventure/USA
As the educational programming arm of Adventure Learning Network (ALN), Team Adventure/USA engages in adventures from mountain climbing to sailing. School children across the country join in the fun as “virtual” crew members by interacting with Team Adventure/USA over the Internet through the ALN Web site. Members of the team include Cam Lewis and Skip Novak, veteran sailor and accomplished author. Team Adventure/USA’s inaugural adventure will be The RACE.
–About the Founder’s Group
Team Adventure/USA created the Founder’s Group as a private support syndicate dedicated to the funding of the construction of the fastest sailing boat in the world. Founder’s Group members also serve on Team Adventure/USA’s Board of Directors. Founder’s Group members are a small group of business leaders, yachtsmen and adventurers, such as Chairman Paul Klaassen, who will help raise the remaining funds necessary to develop a catamaran built with technology on par with the space shuttle.
–About Cam Lewis
Lewis began racing at the age of four, winning his first race aboard a North Haven dinghy at the age of six. Since then Lewis has secured four World Championships, two Finn Gold Cups and two 505 world titles. Lewis was a key crew member on board the Stars and Stripes for the 1988 America’s Cup victory. Aboard Commodore Explorer in 1993, Lewis broke the mythical 80-day ’round th