Ocean Planet Vendée Globe Update:
Monday, March 21, 2005
What a weekend!
Anyone that says the U.S.A. doesn’t follow shorthanded ocean racing should have hung out with me the last few days in Portland, Maine. I am a bit dizzy from all the hullabooloo, but will try to remember it all:</P
I arrived early Thursday morning after flight delays/rerouting resulted in my being up all night and having to rent a car and drive from Boston… but I made it in time for an incredible welcoming from hundreds of “Ocean Planet Kids” in Brunswick.
It was really cool to learn how closely these great kids followed Ocean Planet through the entire Vendee Globe race. I was presented with amazing presents that showed a lot of thought, planning, and skill at many levels. One of them was a complex scrapbook of press articles mixed with personal notes and pictures, a real work of art!
I also received several awesome banners and posters, all created by these impressive young Mainers, and learned from their teachers how seriously and enthusiastically they studied our Ocean Sciences program (http://www.oceanplanet.org/) with Bigelow Laboratories! Then I was presented with an American flag by the representative of Maine Senator Susan Collins, that was officially flown at the Capitol in our honor. How proud am I? You can’t imagine.
This was just the beginning. I did about six interviews just on Thursday, then I lost count. But here are a few of my favorites:
With Barbara Cariddi and my hero Dodge Morgan, on Maine Public Radio:
On Maine’s “207” TV show with host Rob Caldwell:
And Bill Green of Maine’s Channel 6:
I also had a great time talking to Channel 13’s Amy Sinclair, Channel 8’s great Steve Minich, and John McDonald of WGAN radio (forgot to get pictures!), all of whom have become pretty good friends of mine. All in all, I’m amazed I still have my voice after so much talking….
But that was STILL just the beginning! On Friday at the exhibitor’s party for the Maine Wooden Boatbuilder’s show (fantastic show!) I was award the “Key” to the city of Portland by Mayor Jill Duson! As if that wasn’t enough, I was also presented with an official proclamation of congratulations by the Maine State Legislature.
The attendance at the show was staggering, and I signed so many autographs my writing hand is tired out…but what a great time! We had a special party for Ocean Planet supporters on Saturday night, and I was on some panel discussions at seminars at the show both Saturday and Sunday. Our booth at the show was a hit, thanks to volunteers Sharon Osborne, Denise Preisser, Tami Kennedy, Will Rooks, Geoff & Sue Lamdin, John Kelleter, Dave Dodson, Barbara Wye, John Eide, Ernie & Bette Reuter… and whoever I’m forgetting… Oh yeah! My Mom was there too… thanks Mom!
And special, special, special thanks to Phin Sprague of Portland Yacht Service who hosted this great event, and believed in me enough to be the host for our Vendee Globe preparation for over a year. In late May I will return to PYS after sailing across from Les Sables d’Olonne, and we will have a huge “Ocean Planet Homecoming Weekend” on the first Weekend in June. Stay tuned for more info!
What’s next? I will be in Portland, OREGON, on April 14th (seminar) & 15th (Vendee Globe presenation)…. at Strictly Sail in Oakland on April 17th, and then at the great Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon on the 21st. All these shows will be fundraisers to keep Ocean Planet and also to raise support for the Transat Jacque Vabre (TJV), the next big race on the Open 60 circuit. For more info on the TJV see http://www.jacques-vabre.com/.
Ok, that’s it for now!
Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet