In November 2003 Boating Partners UK (BPUK) announced their backing for the twenty four year old yachtswoman Clemency WILLIAMS in order for her to compete in the 2005 Mini-transat.
They are now all pleased to announce that a boat has been secured for Clem's campaign; a Simon ROGERS designed sister-ship to Jonathan McKee's boat.
Despite being built in 1999 it has only clocked approximately 250 miles. Clemency is already preparing the boat with a new rig, before commencing training in early March. She then aims to complete her 1,000 mile qualifying during April. Clem would like to be able compete in three races during the early summer: Select 650, Mini Cup and Mini Fastnet. The full campaign is still heavily dependent on commercial sponsors being secured and both Clemency and BPUK are working very hard on achieving this key part of the project over the coming months.
The ultimate aim of the team is to enable Clemency to qualify for, and compete in the gruelling 4,500 mile trans-Atlantic race in her new 21ft. sailing boat; by achieving this goal, she would become one of the few British females to compete in the race. The event is traditionally dominated by French yachtsmen, but previous British female competitors have included Ellen MacArthur and Sam Davies.
Clemency, from Hamble in Hampshire, whose ambitions include competing in many of the major offshore events, sees the Mini Transat as a huge challenge, but one that she is already relishing. The race is an extreme test of tactics and endurance ocean racing competing against some of the most impressive and professional sailors in the world.
"Finding and buying my boat is obviously a crucial part of my campaign to qualify for and compete in the Mini Transat! I just really want to get training quickly and to ensure that I can complete qualification as soon as possible,"
Clemency's sailing career started at a very early age on board her dad's yacht. Inspired by her family's passion for the sport she has since accumulated many miles of experience, having been involved with managing and maintaining a J-105 race yacht that regularly competes in Cowes Week, the Winter and Spring Series and many other events on the Solent. Over the years her sailing ambitions have become focused on short-handed sailing. In 2002 she won the RSYC Double-Handed Inshore Series and from there she moved into offshore racing. Clemency ran a successful double-handed Rolex Fastnet campaign in 2003, which involved a lead up programme of four offshore qualification races and resulted in a 5th in class. She has recently been working for Sir Chay Blyth's Challenge Business involved with corporate hospitality, race regattas and offshore adventure sailing. The Mini Transat is the next stage in her steep learning curve of ocean racing: the sponsorship, design and build elements of the campaign are all new to Clemency, but all are crucial aspects for her ambition of becoming an ocean racing expert.
BPUK is supporting Clemency in the Mini Transat with the aim to compete both on and off the water. The syndicate is already working hard at forming partnerships with leading players in the yachting & sports world for the project, including: Mission Performance, Marine Pics, Beyond the Web and sports promotions agency S2 Marketing. By compiling such an impressive team, BPUK intends to give Clemency the best possible opportunity of success in one the world's most demanding ocean racing experiences for individuals.