A multi-stop circumnavigation race for 40ft and 50ft yachts will start in September 2007 10/2/06

Global Ocean Sailing Ventures (GOSV) today announced the creation of the Global Ocean Challenge 2007/08, the first ever solo-double around-the-world yacht race. The event, open to 40 and 50 ft monohull sailboats only, will start from a major European port in September 2007 and circumnavigate the world stopping in South Africa, New Zealand, South America and the United States before finishing in Europe in May 2008. For the first time ever singlehanded sailors and double-handed sailors will be competing together in a global yacht race.

Josh Hall, co-founder and Race Director (pictured left) commented: “Our principal intention with this new event is to make around-the-world yacht racing as accessible to as many people as possible It’s practically impossible for most sailors to participate in an around-the-world race without either paying a fortune or being immensely qualified. The double-handed division of the Global Ocean Challenge puts a campaign within the reach of two keen sailors looking to live out a lifetime dream of sailing around the world.”

The course will have ‘gates’ where competitors accumulate points. The gates will ensure that the fleet remain closer together and also restrict the yachts from sailing too deep into the Southern Ocean. Hall continued: “While our intention is to open up the race to as many people as we can, we will be doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the competitors. In fact one of the things that will separate our race from others is that we will be very much competitor driven. We recognise that without competitors we do not have an event.”

Brian Hancock – co-founder and Communications Director – added: “The Global Ocean Challenge will embrace a strong education message and recognise the core values of shorthanded ocean racing namely tenacity, determination and courage. It’s these themes that will bring the race to life. The stories from on board the boats as they traverse some of the most extreme and remote parts of our planet will be compelling. With modern communications equipment we plan to bring the race to life. Human drama and man against the elements are themes as old as time.

With the race stopping in five countries and spanning nine months the event will recreate the unique family atmosphere that was once the hallmark of shorthanded global ocean racing. For more information go to globaloceanchallenge.com.