Skandia is delighted to have selected the five teams to represent the long-term financial services company's core values of Passion, Courage, Commitment, Creativity and Contribution at Skandia Cowes Week (SCW) this year.
The 'Skandia Squad' was initiated in 2001 as part of a scheme to 'give something back to competitors' and since then the kudos attached to being selected as a Squad member has meant a vast increase in applications.
Skandia's sponsorship manager Tim SEWELL is looking forward to seeing the teams participate in what looks likely to be another bumper year of racing on the Solent from 7 - 14 August. "The quantity and calibre of entries was staggering. Often teams apply to represent more than one value and that can make things interesting when we are trying to make the final decision!"
Tim continues, "The overall selection for 2004 is, we believe, an excellent representation of our core values and is precisely what the Squad and our Set Sail mission is all about - making sailing more accessible."
Skandia PASSION: This young Laser SB3 crew from Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow is passionate about sailing but has never had the backing to compete at Cowes! As Skipper Jon Shelley wrote, "We will sail anything, anywhere, as much as possible and as fast as possible. We regularly travel to the South Coast and back for many weekends in a row, towing a boat, in the middle of the night, in the rain... "
Skandia COURAGE: Sailing is often perceived as a sport dominated by men. This year 10 plucky ladies aged 20 - 26 from the Women's British Sailing Team are keen to show the world what they are made of! The skipper of this Mumm 30, Lucy BURNS, is proud of her crew and its calibre. "This will be a fabulous opportunity to show that we are serious, committed, capable, and we can help raise the profile of women's yachting in the UK."
Skandia COMMITMENT: The crew of this 75 year old X.O.D 31 Frivol are a determined bunch. Owner Pete FLANDERS explained in his application that, "During our first inspection of the boat it became obvious that the previous owner liked to add extra bits to make it more comfortable, and over her 28 years of ownership had managed to add over 140lbs to the weight. We also counted 18 layers of paint to the outside!"
Skandia CREATIVITY: This Swedish couple based in Hertfordshire won the Creativity vote hands down. This year will be Marie and Hans Backmans' third competing in SCW in their sports boat 'Mosquito'. This is no ordinary craft, the couple designed and built the 3-man yacht themselves.
Skandia CONTRIBUTION: This will be the US-built Schock 40's first time out in European waters. She is a super lightweight canting keel flyer, is unique at her size on this side of the Pond and is contributing to the sport with her innovative make up. She's sailing at Cowes with a dual nationality crew from the UK and USA including Dave ULLMAN (USA), triple world champion in 470, Tom SCHOCK (USA), the boat's designer and multiple championship winner.
This year the benefits of Skandia Squad selection include:
· Free berthing
· Entry fees
· Coaching from the Australian sailing legends, John Bertrand & Grant Wharington
· Champagne Mumm
· Timberland Shoes
· Wightlink travel vouchers
· Henri Lloyd clothing
In addition, one lucky squad member's name will be drawn from a hat during a special Olympic reception hosted by OMEGA, and he or she will receive a Limited Edition watch from the OMEGA Olympic Collection.
Further details of all the squad members are available on the event website at the address below.