Ocean Planet Report
Ocean Planet Qualifier Update
Return delivery to Newport, RI USA
July 23, 2002
Important Ocean Planet Update
78 miles to Newport: 40 15N, 70 35W
Today, Ocean Planet arrives in Newport, the host town for the Around Alone race headquarters.
It is now make or break time for fundraising. I have only one week to raise the funds to pay urgent existing bills, and to decide whether or not we can finance the preparation to start the Around Alone. There are several sails needed, a lot of rigging, mechanical, and electrical work to do for what is the longest race on earth. This is an extreme event, and yes, I’m terrified of the safety consequences of not being ready, and we won’t be ready without the $ to do it.
It is incredible that Ocean Planet has come this far with only donations (a heck of a lot of them!), supplier sponsors, and volunteer help. I began this project with the goal of representing a major sponsor or two, but amazingly we have found a way so far without one. There is no one more surprised than me to be on the East Coast with a custom Open 60, and to be the only American boat entered in Class One of the Around Alone. From the beginning we have had a great team, they and others are ready to go as soon as we get the funds to prepare.
BUT A LOT HAS TO BE DONE, RIGHT AWAY!! Several projects on Ocean Planet that have been postponed until now, for financial and developmental (always test before finishing!) reasons. It has been an exhausting balancing act trying to keep the boat on schedule to be a viable entry, and at the same time sail her to Newport. I have used every trick possible, and I am proud to say the end result is a great boat, and several lifetimes worth of goodwill, friends, and supporters that I am determined not to let down.
There are so many people to thank for getting us this far (take a look at our contributors page on the website!), but here are a few I really want to give special thanks to:
Kevin and Shauna Flanigan, who created and gave us the Ocean Planet name, and the spirit of being at one with our oceans. Their contribution has been huge both spiritually and financially, and there is no way the boat would have ever hit the water in Portland without them.
Philippe and Sonia Kahn (www.lee-kahn.com), who gave us a huge push early on. They are also committed to having a clean and safe planet for us to live on.
The hundreds of other contributors to The Made in America Foundation. So many of you were already great friends, but amazingly so many more that I didn’t know before. They have donated their hard earned dollars to create an all-American boat and dream.
And a very special thanks to Adrien Fournier, who was a rigging client of mine when I came up with this crazy idea. He was the very first person to contribute financially and become personally involved to get the project going. He even came to Portland to work on the wiring and other endless projects himself. Thanks Adrien, it’s all your fault!
To all of our official supplier sponsors who have pitched in. In today’s economic environment it may be considered risky to put product and/or $ into such an extreme dream, but if there is ANYTHING that will pull the U.S. out of any downturn, it is the spirit and drive to do something productive and difficult, because it simply IS WORTH DOING. That IS the American spirit and what has made our country great. People should take note of these brands and appreciate them sticking their necks out for me!
And to Jeanie, my sweetheart, who knows that no matter how far away I sail, I will find my way home.
So to all: Please don’t let us fail now. We have worked so hard, but I cannot make the start of the Around Alone without some more help and an influx of cash…..
Consider this: The Sept 15th start of the Around Alone from New York is exactly one year, to the day, after the attached photo was taken by Latitude 38 during our tribute sail for the 9/11 tragedy. We really should be at the start.
Bruce and ‘The Peoples’ Open 60′, Ocean Planet