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Why take on the VELUX 5 OCEANS?

As the Vendee finishes, this seems to be a good time to update you on the preparations for the 2010 VELUX5OCEANS race, the 8th in the series which started with the BOC Challenge in 1982. I am pleased to be able to tell you that VELUX is firmly on board and providing a larger budget and considerable input and support, which will enable us to promote the race, the entrants and their sponsors even more than last time...

The race will start from La Rochelle on 17th October 2010. The stopping ports will be Capetown, Wellington in New Zealand, Salvador in Brazil, Charleston, South Caroline USA, and back to La Rochelle. The route provides some excellent promotional opportunities for sponsors.

Because of recent developments in the Open 60 class, we are dividing the race into 2 classes, the Open 60's which is open to yachts built since 1st January 2003, and the Eco 60's for Open 60's built before that date. The Eco 60 class rules are available on the website www.velux5oceans.com. The class also puts limits on the number of sails that can be carried and the size of support teams. These are all designed to keep costs down and create equality through the class, thus keeping it accessible to those who are still trying to establish their reputations and make entering more attractive to sponsors who will be looking at the return they can get on the event. These older boats tend to be heavier, but 75% of them finished this Vendee race as opposed to 20% of the new boats, a further attraction to a sponsor.

As you probably know, there is a good pool of Open 60's built before 1st January 2003 and they average between 15% and 25% of the cost of building a new boat. We hope this will encourage those seeking to do something special with their lives as well as the established sailors, in the tradition of the race which has made the reputations of people such as Philippe Jeantot, Christophe Augin, Isabelle Autissier, Jean Luc van den Heede, Bernard Stamm, Kojiro Shuraishi and Brad van Lieu, amongst others as well as leading directly to the creation of the Vendee Globe race.

Speaking for my own experience as a contestant in the last race, the VELUX5OCEANS race still has the wonderful camaraderie amongst the contestants which does not exist in other around the world races and which has been one of its features since 1982. It makes it a popular event in the stopover ports which benefits everyone.

A big change this time is that we have a Euros 500,000-00 pot for prize money which will be divided between the classes and spread out over the legs of the race. We also intend to give each of the first 12 entrants a cheque for Euros 3,500 when they arrive in the intermediate ports to help defray accommodations costs. There will also be a contribution of Euros 10,000 towards communication costs and Euros 5000 towards shipping costs for the first 12 entrants that will help make the race less costly.

I would like to remind everyone that the 50% discount in the entry fees, reducing it from Euros 20,000 to Euros 10,000 expires at the beginning of October 2009.

As I tell everyone, so far as we know we only have one life on this planet. It is nice to be able to turn round and say you did something special with yours. Don't hold back and be included with the millions who wish they had taken the opportunities when they had the chance. Think Big and be special!

We do have packs of supportive information for giving to sponsors, so if you have not already received this please let me know. We have our team in place and we are there to help our entrants to achieve.

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