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The Big V Race 2006

Friday, 07 July 2006
Volvo RYA Keelboat Sailors to attempt world sailing record with TV presenter Ben Fogle On Monday 10 July the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme and TV presenter Ben Fogle will attempt to set an official world sailing record from Portsmouth to Cork, Ireland. Competing in the first ever Big V Sail, the team will race Farr 45 'John Merricks' from Gillkicker Point off Portsmouth across the Irish Sea. Ben Fogle, after completing the Atlantic Rowing Race, has gained valuable experience with the conditions the sea can offer. Ready to sail down a world record are Jonny Marshall of Lymington who will take the helm accompanied by Ed Hill (Guildford), Bethan Carden (Lymington), Jamie Holmes (Bath), Charlotte Lawrence (Edinburgh), Ben Pym (Cardiff) and Nikki Sharp (Manchester) who will all take turns trimming sails. Manager for the Volvo RYA Keelboat programme's southern squad, Luke McCarthy, and Manager for the National Squad, Nigel King, will also join the amateur sailors. Jamie Holmes, a student at Southampton University is looking forward to the two-day race. "The whole crew are massively excited about taking part in the race and trying to set this world record. It will be great to have Ben onboard as we try to set an unbeatable time. "This will be our first offshore over 24 hours this season and it will be a good chance to test out our watch system and see how we work as a team." Keen to get the race underway, Ben Fogle explained, "I've got some of the best young sailors in the country on my side, so I'm optimistic we can put one over on the other boats." The Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme provides a pathway for young sailors to break into the world of big boat racing. After receiving top-level coaching and access to grants, sailors on the programme go on to successfully compete in international keelboat events, such as the recent the Rolex Commodores' Cup. The Big V Sail sets off from Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth on Monday10 July and will be recorded by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

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