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4 August 2004, 09:46 am
Countdown Continues
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2004/05 Global Challenge
Portsmouth

There are just 8 weeks to go until the Global Challenge 2004/05 sets sail from Portsmouth, Great Britain on the first of its legs on the Worlds toughest yacht race around the World the "wrong" way.
Crew training has now finished, team strategies have been developed and preparations in the start port of Portsmouth are now well underway. The Race Village in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth opens on 24 September with events planned for the whole week including a ceremonial parade of sail, street carnival, public open day, live music, exhibitor stalls and the infamous crew parties!

"It's incredible how fast the race has come around," explains Simon Walker, from the race organiser's HQ in Ocean Village, Southampton. "But the 12 yachts, skippers and their crews are now raring to go and everything is set for a great race."

Behind the scenes, the cogs of the Global Challenge have been turning, with the logistics team flying around the world making their final port checks whilst the technical team is currently organising the yachts final lift-out of the water for the last land-based safety checks.

The crews now have just a few weeks to pack up their lives and say goodbye to family and friends before their ten-month voyage around the world. Skippers are busy doing the same whilst finishing last minutes job and assigning roles.

"We're now actually implementing the plans which we've had in place for a few months," explains race skipper, James ALLEN. "We're booking hotels, ordering kit and crew clothing plus sorting out food. Our food is currently in Belgium so we need to organise a van to pick it up and then find somewhere to pack it before shipping it out to the ports of call. There's a lot to do but we're getting there!"

Simon WALKER adds. "Everything may seem like a complete rush in the lead up to the race but the last few weeks should be relished as part of the overall race experience."

Challenge Business will soon be announcing another two yacht sponsors. Further details to follow. More information is available on the event website at the address below.
Rachel Anning (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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