Monday, September 20, 2021
Home Sailing 11th Hour Racing Team restarts team training after pandemic delay

11th Hour Racing Team restarts team training after pandemic delay

July 23, 2020 (Newport, Rhode Island) – Following this year’s lockdowns around the globe and the recent announcement of a one-year postponement to the start of the next edition of The Ocean Race until Fall 2022, 11th Hour Racing Team leaders Charlie Enright and Mark Towill have reset their team calendar and training program for late summer.

The 11th Hour Racing Team boat went back in the water last week in Lorient, France and team members are gathering in Brittany this week for offshore training sessions and preparations for an early August transatlantic sail to Newport, RI, home to the team’s title sponsor 11th Hour Racing. 

“Like most of the world, we have been watching the COVID19 issues unfold in all parts of the globe, and we hope that leaders and societies can continue to take the right steps to minimize the spread of the virus and its tragic consequences as much as possible,” said Team CEO Mark Towill about the recent events. “We naturally paused all of our in-person activities since February and are being meticulous in following local and international health and safety protocols as we return to sailing.”

The team had been focusing on restarting its French-based team operations and training as lockdowns and travel restrictions were slowly being lifted in Europe and around the world. The recent announcement that the start of The Ocean Race will be postponed until 2022, has compelled Towill and Enright to take a fresh look at the team’s plans through the rest of this year.

The boat returned to the water on July 16 after a refit with Multiplast that took over seven months instead of three as a result of the pandemic. After the hiatus from sailing, Enright also got back on the water with his first sail of 2020 on the IMOCA 60 earlier this week. The team plans to leave for Newport in early August pending a test of all the boat’s systems and new hardware updates, including the installation of a new foil that will be tested on the transatlantic. Placing an emphasis on health and safety, the team has focused on creating a tight-knit, bubble environment for training and have implemented a detailed team operating policy that is regularly updated according to regional and global regulations.

In Newport, the team is planning a social-distant homecoming event in mid-September, inviting local fans to see the boat and sailors. On September 16, members of the 11th Hour Racing Team will participate in the virtual Newport Ocean Race Summit.

“It’s great to finally have some clarity on sailing for the foreseeable future,” said Enright. “It’s still all very fluid right now but having the boat back on the water has been a huge boost for the campaign and team morale. Getting the boat over to Rhode Island will allow us more opportunities to sail together in the short term, connect with sailing fans in the local community, all while putting an emphasis on health and safety.”

During the lockdown, team leaders and Damian Foxall, Sustainability Program Manager, participated in a series of livestream interviews and virtual appearances — including US Sailing, The Sustainability Report, Oakcliff Sailing, Rocking the Boat, Sport & Sustainability International, Schmidt Ocean Institute and more. 

Furthering their mission to create long-lasting change for ocean health, the team organized monthly ‘#oceanhour sessions’ focused on a variety of environmental and sustainability topics. To celebrate Earth Day, the team hosted a ‘Netflix Viewing Party’ of Chasing Coral and were privileged to have the film creator Richard Vevers join for a Q&A. The topic of biomimicry and how the team can use nature to inspire sustainable design in the marine industry was explored in May, and last month the team discussed how the team’s sustainability initiatives can help contribute to a thriving world living within the planetary boundaries. 

“The first half of the year was challenging with the global shutdown and The Ocean Race’s new timeline,” said Towill. “But we’ve worked hard to make the best of it in order to optimize our technical program and build out our sustainability initiatives even further to leave a greater lasting legacy.”

- Advertisment -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

LATEST ARTICLES

Royal Huisman: new order for 65m/ 212ft performance ketch

The joint team of Royal Huisman, Dykstra Naval Architects and Mark Whiteley Design is delighted to announce the newbuild agreement for an...

In 2021, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Nioulargue

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2021 will take place this year from Saturday September 25 to Saturday October 9. A...

Les Voiles d’Antibes 2021

Les Voiles d'Antibes, the largest classic yachting event, is back for its 26th edition. Come and see the yachts and enjoy the...

Mylius Yachts unveils the new M 72 ‘project in Porto Cervo

Mylius taps the hippest names amongst project and interior designers from the international yacht industry to work together on true made-to-measure boats.Shaun...

Solaris 40 new project, a 40-foot boat with all the innovations

The new Solaris 40 contains in its 12.36 meters the result of an intense design study, signed by the Solaris designer Javier...

Explorer 62 conquers the 2021 World Yachts Trophies Award

On the evening of Saturday 12 September during the Cannes Yachting Festival, the authoritative French magazine Yachts awarded the World Yachts Trophies....

11th edition of Yare from the 20th until the 22nd of October 2021

11th edition of Yare, Yachting Aftersales and Refit Experience, taking place in Viareggio - Italy from the 20th until the 22nd of...

22 yachts representing 14 Countries line up for the Ocean Globe Race

Only two more years until the start of the Ocean Globe Race and the return of amateur ocean racing, to celebrate the...

Barcolana Sea Summit is scheduled from the 6th to the 9th of October

The state of the Mediterranean; the role of science diplomacy in supporting innovative and integrated policies for the  protection of the sea;...

The 46m performance cruiser Royal Huisman – Turning the feather

The lightweight construction of the 46m performance cruiser, Royal Huisman's project 405 aka Reichel / Pugh - Nauta 151, employs the shipyard's...