First yacht named in Gdansk, Poland

The first yacht for the OKI European Challenge 2005 was named at a ceremony today in Gdansk, Poland. The Beneteau First 47.7 yacht was named Progressive Spirit by the Mayor of the City of Gdansk, Pawe_ Adamowicz, in a brief dock-side ceremony in the port city.

The OKI European Challenge is a pan-European race, which embarks from Poland in June 2005, and will race to 13 ports in 11 countries between June and September 2005. It is the first European yacht race with an open selection process so anyone between ages 18-70, who is medically fit, can participate in the event.

Race Director Michael Kay said, “The Oki European Challenge is a new event offering a fresh initiative in the world of sailing, as it is designed to bring European businesses and ordinary Europeans into the sport. We are very excited to be naming this first yacht and look forward to a year of activities leading up to start of the race from Poland in June 2005.”

Progressive Spirit leaves Poland later this week to sail the route of the next year’s OKI European Challenge. This ‘Promotional Tour’ will promote the event around Europe, allowing potential crew members and business partners to see the yacht and find out more about the race.

The provisional route of the Oki European Challenge (to be confirmed in October 2004) is:

1. Gdansk/ Gdynia, 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

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

For full details of the event visit