Press Release – November 21, 1999
Bruce travels to Seattle/Portland and sees the boat for the first time.
Before I give you the latest on our Vendee Globe effort, I need to remind everyone about our fun-fundraiser party on Dec 12th at the Encinal YC in Alameda! We have a bunch of very cool stuff to raffle off, including: a custom carbon fiber spinnaker pole from Forespar(!), a free haul-out at Svendsens, a dingy building kit from MAS epoxies, free seminars from Complete Cruising Solutions, and lots more. Mystery musical guest! See you there! (RSVP if you can, not required)
Just back from Seattle & Portland. Went to Seattle to check out the very impressive “Fish Expo.” As in everything you ever thought of having to do with the fishing industry, from giant engines to “complete bone removal technology” (my favorite exhibitor name).
Don Melcher, our team radio guru, wanted me to meet him there and see what we could drum up for sponsorship help on our radios and communication airtime. All of the communication players were there since the fishing industry is obviously a major market for them. As it turns out, Brad Van Liew was also there working the Comsat booth and provided some additional contacts and advice. Brad seems to magically appear wherever I travel these days (see the update on my trip to France on our website, rigworld.com) and is sort of a guardian angel!
The best news is that we have signed on Nobeltec as our supplier of routing and charting software. They have developed a new way of storing chart data that allows them to fit all of the world on one CD! I’ll have it before you, eat your heart out, but check at Complete Cruising Solutions next spring when it’s available. I still have a lot of work to do to earn a radio hardware or airtime sponsor. Will be following up leads this week.
While in town, I stayed at my mom’s in west Seattle. Friday night she threw a party and invited a bunch of her friends to meet her crazy son “the one racing around the world.” Aside from me feeling a little bit like a circus oddity, they all were quite enthusiastic and may turn up some leads for contributions. I really need some good news in that department, asap.
Saturday my mom and by brother Steve drove me down to Portland so that we could check out the “Made in America” (aka the “Wylie Wocket”!). Wow! Steve Rander and crew are doing an amazing job. Seeing the real thing is different than looking at the drawings. Steve’s execution of Tom’s lines is absolute magic to my eyes. We have all really connected in our collective vision of the boat we are creating. I have sailed a lot of boats, but this one will really blow everyone away. Our concepts make so much sense it is surprising no one else has put them together like we are. Unlike the dollars spent in America’s cup campaigns, what we develop for singlehanded racing is directly applicable to the average cruiser, who needs a fast, safe and easily handled boat. What we are doing needs to be done.
To all of you that have sent or are sending in contributions, I can’t thank you enough! Without your help we will screech to a halt. However, what we have received is a drop in the bucket compared to what will be spent. About $2,000 a week is what has been coming in, and to build the boat we need more like 30,000 a week through February. Pretty scary. Meanwhile we are relentlessly pursuing corporate sponsorship. This is an opportunity for them to get the best bang for their buck in international exposure, if we can get through to them. All leads or contacts appreciated, and please keep the contributions coming! They are tax-deductible, through the Encinal Sailing Foundation. There is a contribution form on the website you can print out (here)if you know anyone who would be interested in supporting what we are doing.
We can win one of the most dangerous races in the world with a safe, fast, and dependable all-American boat, if we keep getting the great support.
Bruce (keeping your Wocket dollars hard at work) Schwab