A new pathway to high performance offshore racing

James Closeadventure, class 40, Class 40 racing, Dream or Two Sailing, James


Ocean Racing Project


The Ocean Racing Project is a new initiative in the UK that will provide an opportunity for young sailors to take a Step Up to Offshore racing. The project will initially create a race team who will compete in the highly competitive Class 40. Initially funded by chronyko, an immersive training business, the project is aiming to attract both sailors and sponsors to join the project whose primary objective is to create a pathway that doesn’t currently exist into the world of professional offshore racing.

The launch also signals the start of the search for the sailors to join the team. The initial intake will be 3-5 young people between the ages of 18 and 25. However, the details will depend on the ability to attract the right mix of sponsors to support the project.

In its initial phase the project will work with Dream or Two Sailing, an established sailing business based in the Solent, who provide access to high performance racing on their Class 40 yacht Fortissimo. Class 40 has been selected for this project as it is a safe, affordable yet technical and challenging class for a young person to be able to take the first steps towards offshore racing.

The project will use the Dream or Two sailing platform to deliver the on-water training and racing, working closely with Fortissimo’s skipper James Close. As an RYA Yacht Master Instructor and Class 40 skipper James will provide specialist training and guidance to accelerate the teaching and training of the young sailors. The project is also currently in talks with a range of experts and professional sailors who would also support the teaching and training of the team going forwards.

The initial objective of the project is to identify, select and train the race team ahead of competing in the Volvo Round Ireland race at the end of June 2018. If this is successful then the team will then set their sights on the RORC Round Britain and Ireland race in August.

Long term the project will be looking to increase the number of sailors it can accommodate and will also look to expand the range and difficulty of activities both on and off the water.

Cat Hunt, the Team Principal and a Youth Ambassador for the Andrew Simpson Foundation said “this is an exciting moment for every young sailor who has the ambition of a career in the sport. The Ocean Racing Project will create opportunities that don’t otherwise exist to step up to offshore. My personal goal is to be the skipper of a Volvo Ocean Race boat in the future, but to get there isn’t easy. This project will create a pathway that can allow young sailors to aspire to and achieve similar ambitions. However, this isn’t about giving people a free ride, offshore sailing is tough and the sailors that join the project will have a lot of work ahead of them. What we are providing is inspiration and an opportunity, the sailors still need to grasp it if they are to be successful.”

Over the coming months the team at the Ocean Racing Project will be busy identifying and selecting the first group of young sailors to join the race team. Alongside this will be a search for sponsors and other organisations who can support the project in the long-term, creating sustainability for the future.

The project will also benefit from the input and support of its initial sponsor, chronyko. As a provider of innovative immersive training chronyko will be able to complement the on-water activities with support and activities off the water. These will cover a broad range of areas, including everything from marketing, media work, commercial understanding, team-work and leadership. These are all skills and capabilities that the modern professional sailor needs, just as much as sailing ability.

Martyn Ruks, Director at chronyko who are providing seed funding for the project said, “the need for businesses to invest in learning, education and development has never been so important. Across the board we are facing a skills gap that needs addressing. Chronyko deliver innovative training events for our clients and we believe that there is no better illustration of our passion and ability in this space than supporting a project that will train and develop young people for a tough new challenge.”

“Offshore sailing is a fantastic medium for the development of skills that are critical in business and therefore this project is a platform for us to showcase our approaches to training and development. We believe that the Ocean Racing Project is forming a much needed pathway for young sailors to make the Step Up to Offshore sailing. Our objective is now to ensure that this becomes a sustainable initiative by finding partners who can work with us to realise the long term value in the project and ensure that as many young people as possible get to benefit from our work.” Martyn Ruks

Today’s launch of the Ocean Racing Project marks the start of a long journey but one that promises to create new and exciting opportunities for young sailors.

For more information visit oceanracingproject.com

Ocean Racing Project

The Ocean Racing Project is providing a pathway for young sailors to take a Step Up to Offshore sailing. The project is initially focussed on building a team of young sailors who can compete in an offshore racing programme in 2018, culminating with the Volvo Round Ireland and RORC Round Britain and Ireland races. The project is working closely with Dream or Two Sailing and will initially be using their Class 40 yacht Fortissimo as the sailing platform for the project.

Ocean Racing Project

Chronyko Ltd

Chronyko deliver immersive team building and skills development events. They use a powerful combination of storytelling, technology and puzzles to create unique training experiences for businesses who understand the value of investing in their people. Chronyko’s HackFu event has recently been awarded the Princess Royal Training Award as recognition of its excellence in supporting learning, education and development in business.