Organisers of the OKI European Challenge have added northern and southern leg options for next year's event

Due to popular demand, the organisers of the 2005 OKI European Challenge have confirmed that they are offering potential crew the additional choice of taking part in either the northern or southern legs of the event, as well as the current option of completing the entire race from Poland to Monaco over a 16-week period.

Launched at the Southampton Boat Show last September, the new event offered a fresh initiative in the world of sailing designed to bring ordinary Europeans in to the sport. The ethos behind the event has been to make it as accessible as possible for the complete beginner as much as for the experienced sailor, especially as previous events with a similar structure have usually demanded that participants take as much as a year out.

Michael Kay Race Director said: “We have found in our discussions with potential crew that there is often a requirement for an even shorter time frame in which to participate. We have also found with some of those who are interested in the event from a business networking point of view that their focus might only be on certain parts of Europe. We have been keen from the start to be as accommodating as possible. So long as it doesn’t change the ethos of the event, which this doesn’t, then we’re happy to help.”

The Northern legs of the OKI European Challenge will include

1. Gdansk, Poland – Keil, Germany

2. Kiel – Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Copenhagen – Gothenburg, Sweden

4. Gothenburg – Scheveningen, (The Hague), Holland

5. Scheveningen – Cowes, UK (inc Skandia Cowes Week)

6. Cowes (Fastnet Race) – Plymouth, UK

The Southern legs of the OKI European Challenge will include

7. Plymouth, UK – Lisbon, Portugal

8. Lisbon – Palma, Majorca

9. Palma – Barcelona, Spain

10. Barcelona – French Mediterranean Port (TBC)

11. French Mediterranean Port – Genoa, Italy

12. Genoa – Monte Carlo, Monaco