While Ocean Planet sits comfortably (albiet lonely) at her mooring in Portland Maine, I am on the west coast organizing our team and working on fundraising. If I learned anything in the Around Alone, it is that you can’t mess around with the Vendee and not be properly prepared. So I want to stick to a schedule that gives us time to complete our modifications to our boat and undergo thorough testing starting early next spring.
In the Around Alone we basically repaired our way around the world, which is of course not an option in the non-stop Vendee Globe! We know what to change, modify, and upgrade to make Ocean Planet safer and faster. I have been in constant contact with our designer Tom Wylie (on the whole picture), composites guru Erich Chase (who will help lead our modification team), our sparbuilder Ted Van Dusen of Composites Engineering, our hydrodymanicist Paul Bogataj, and many others to plan our winter project.
Our makeover will take place at Portland Yacht Service in Portland, Maine. We will be indoors and much of the project will open to the public and those who want to keep track of our progress. Hopefully we will provide some entertainment to the locals over the cold winter months…;-)
All we need now is the money. I am working with two sports marketing groups to get our platform of exposure in front of potential sponsors. We are getting leads and setting up meetings while we finish creating our presentation materials and to consolidating our message. We have partnered with Sports Byline radio ( http://www.sportsbyline.com/ ) to provide a year or more of international radio coverage of our entire Vendee effort, and also with the TV branch of PBS affiliate KCSM ( www.kcsm.org/aboutus.html ) to film a full documentary about the race. This platform will provide a better level of coverage for a solo around the world race than ever before in the U.S. And I am personally very excited about the education program we can offer with our partner Reach the World ( http://www.reachtheworld.org/ )! But it all needs to have an underwriter or sponsor to make it happen. Keep your fingers crossed.
Until we bring aboard that big sponsor or group of sponsors, we STILL need your donations to proceed or it’s all a bunch of talk. Please visit http://www.everyocean.com/oceanplanet/contributions/index.htm and help if you can.
Speaking of fundraising, if you are in or near Seattle later this week: I will be talking at the Seattle Lake Union Boats Afloat Show this Thursday (Sept 11) at 4pm ( http://www.boatsafloatshow.com/ ).
Then the very next day (Friday, Sept 12) I will be at a very special fundraiser for Ocean Planet at The Mt. Baker Community Club at 2811 Mt. Rainer Dr. South, in Seattle. This evening should be really fun, as my dancaholic Mom has put together an amazing lineup of Seattle’s top performers and instructors! I will be doing my slideshow beforehand, from 6-7:30pm, then the dancing and performances will be from 7:30 to 11pm. My slideshow is $15 (a bargain!) and the dance show (with dinner) is $35, $50 for both. RSVP to my Mom, Anitia Jimenez, at 206-24….
While I was back east a few weeks ago, I was delighted to give a tour of Ocean Planet to come cadets from Tabor School. They were visiting Portland Yacht Service aboard the school’s schooner the “Tabor boy”. Great bunch.
Skipper, Ocean Planet