When you are still looking for sponsorship and tackling a vast task with limited funding, it can be easy to get discouraged. But it seems that whenever my shoulders start to sag, my spirits are lifted by the devotion and energy of the volunteers who share our dream.
This weekend was a perfect example, as supporters gathered in Portland, Maine to work on Ocean Planet and participate in the project together. Special thanks to Mario Espin (Key West, FL), Rich E. Jones (Portland, OR), Rich Stevenson (Portland, ME), Sharon Osborne (Portland, ME), Katie Ambach (Newport, RI), Drew Wood (Hartford, CT), Patrick from Custom Composites (Bath, ME), John Eide (Portland, ME), and John Zisa (Salem, MA). There is no stopping us!
This weekend is a special fundraiser for Ocean Planet in Rockport, Maine!
Ocean Planet Benefit Party
Locals support the only U.S. entry in the Vendée Globe around the world single-handed sailboat race
The quadrennial Vendée Globe is the world’s most challenging sailboat race. Next November about 20 men and women will set off from France and attempt to sail fast, tricky high-tech boats nonstop around the world, alone and without any outside assistance. There is only one American currently signed up for the race. His name is Bruce Schwab and his boat is Ocean Planet.
250,000 fans are expected to watch the Vendée start, and European sports pages will feature the event daily, but extreme ocean racing is not nearly so popular in the States. However, these multi-month events are easily watched via the Internet, and a number of Maine sailors closely followed Schwab as he competed in the 2003-4 Around Alone race, a somewhat “easier” single-handed race that circles the globe in five legs with port layovers for rest and repairs. These locals were delighted when Schwab brought Ocean Planet to last summer’s WoodenBoat Show in Rockland and then decided to do his Vendée preparations at Portland Yacht Services.
Bob Chace of Bohndell Sails says: “Bruce is a terrific sailor who’s making up for lack of big money sponsorship with tremendous drive and enthusiasm. He’s also a spirited speaker. Now that I know him, I’m going to especially enjoy following his progress in the Vendée next winter.”
Bohndell Sails and Maine Boats and Harbors Magazine will host a benefit for Schwab’s race campaign on Saturday, May 1, from 7-9pm. Bruce will show photos and video clips from the Around Alone race and discuss the unique design of Ocean Planet. The suggested donation is $15 per person. There will be light snacks and a variety of beverages, sponsored by Portland’s Shipyard Brewing Co.
The benefit will take place at the sail loft on Rt. 1 in Rockport, next to the Yellow house at the Route 90 intersection. For parking, there’s ample space available along West Street near the Rockport Elementary school. For more information about the Schwab campaign see http://www.bruceschwab.com/. There’s also a recent video about Bruce at http://www.thecoastofmaine.com/. For questions about the benefit, call the loft at 207-236-3549 or Maine Boats and Harbors at 20….
‘Wilson’ and I hope to see you there.
Also, more news soon about our education project, so stay tuned!
Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet