23 May Team Concise in the Normandy Channel Race 2015
Ned a veteran of this race has raced at the sharp end of Class 40s for the past 10 years, and spearheaded the campaign spanning three evolutions of boat, he is looking to make a final mark before moving on to new offshore racing challenges. Ned walked away victorious in 2012 with Sam Goodchild. This nail biting test saw their main competition remain within sight right until the finish line. This is the first time since that Ned will compete on his own boat, and is a first for Concise 8, the teams figurehead Class 40.
For this edition Ned will compete with Wouter Verbraak. With four Volvo Ocean races under his belt, a Barcelona world race, an Americas cup campaign and numerous high profile results, Wouter is set to try his hand at class 40 racing. Having been involved with the team as a coach and mentor over the past couple of years, specialising in his expert skills in navigation support, it is a natural progression for him and Ned to race together as their relationship has developed.
As Ned and Wouter’s weapon of choice, Concise 8 is one of the newer and more radical boats in the fleet, yet to reach her full potential and prove herself on the racecourse, preparations are coming to a close and confidence in all systems is high.
Characterised by its challenging course, the race covers the English Channel, Celtic Sea and the Irish sea in a 1,000 mile epic, starting and finishing in the city of Caen in Normandy. The self – proclaimed ‘demanding course’ takes in ‘some complex navigation zones, calling for tactical game-play and what is always a very high race pace. The fabulous course, from Normandy to Ireland, via the south-west coast of England and the Channel Islands guarantees enjoyment for the racers and enables the skippers to really show off their potential.’
As an exciting time for the team, Ned and Wouter will be racing alongside Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Annabel Boudinot in Concise 2. For the first time, Team Concise have two boats in the water. Nothing like some friendly team competition!
No doubt the girls are feeling the pressure, with Concise 2 being Ned and Sams winning boat in 2012, they have a lot to live up to. However with some serious doublehanded and solo experience between them their knowledge and experience together will create a strong and dynamic team. The girls have sailed together before, competing in the mini Fastnet in 2013, so with their experience together and Phillippa’s four previous participations, the girls are confident. Annabel is by day a Naval architect and sailor, having come 9th in the last mini transat, solo across the Atlantic in 6.50 m long racing machines, whilst Phillippa has sailed over 80 000 nm in various Class 40s, including becoming the first South African female to complete a lap of the globe.
With the start fast approaching the boats are ready to race. The teams will spend the next few days preparing mentally, studying weather models and intrinsically learning the different navigational options that will present themselves over the course. They will also take care of interviews and media requirements, whilst the shore team do everything they can to take some of the pressure off, and make sure the boats are 100% perfect.
Four days and counting, nerves are tingling… Follow us on Facebook, twitter, instagram and teamconcise.com