On September 10th 12 identical yachts begin racing around the world the ?wrong way’. Traditionally boats sail around the world following the prevailing winds and currents, this race sails against the prevailing forces of nature.
Each yacht has professional skipper and 17 crew volunteers, drawn from all walks of life. Few if any will have had ocean racing experience. There are seven Kiwis in this year’s race, including two women and three Wellingtonians.
Welcome to the BT global challenge, the race created by Sir Chay Blyth in 1988, inspired by his first solo sail ?the wrong way’ around the world.
For 10 months the yachts will race over 30,000 miles, from Europe to the Americas, to Australasia (arriving in Wellington ll-15 January), from Africa back to Europe.
Because the yachts are identical, success depends on how crews build relationships and work as team. BT will be studying the experience and comparing it to the business environment.
Obviously, teamwork and commitment will be critical in this difficult race. To succeed, each team of men and women must meld into single working unit, just as they must in the business world.
Most crew volunteers have signed on for the full journey, but slots on each yacht are left open for crew members on selected legs.
The New Zealand-based sponsors are Compaq and CGNU.
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