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23 November 2004, 05:01 pm
Final Preparations For Start Of Leg 2
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2004/2005 Global Challenge
Buenos Aires

There is less than a week to go before the start of leg 2 of the Global Challenge - the first notorious Southern Ocean leg, which starts from Buenos Aires on Sunday.

Crews are frantically preparing their yachts but behind the scenes the shore team is also busy getting everything ready for the off, including the compilation of all the daily logs, audio calls and feedback that will help the Media Team judge the result of the Media Prize, sponsored by Unisys/ EMC.

The Prize Giving Ceremony is on Thursday evening, which will be held at the Yacht Club de Argentino's main marquee.

This is the first time the Media Prize has been sponsored and reflects the growing need for communications from the yachts and the evolution of the website. Within minutes, even seconds, race organisers are able to upload images, daily logs and receive data from the yachts. They are also able to streamline satellite calls, which sound crystal clear despite the yachts being many thousands of miles away.

Hundreds of newspapers and radio and TV stations across the country, and indeed across the world have been following their 'local heroes' who come from all walks of life and all over the world. Many of the Crew Volunteers and skippers have been calling their local media outlets for interviews keeping them up to speed with their progress and life on-board.

The judging panel will comprise of the Global Challenge Media team, Sir Chay Blyth; Elaine Bunting, Yachting World's Features Editor; and Robin Britton Regional Editor - ITV News Meridian.

The Unisys/ EMC Media Prizes will be awarded to the Crew Volunteer in each port of call who demonstrates prowess in the following:

Portsmouth - Buenos Aires - Best daily log

Buenos Aires - Wellington - Best onboard footage

Wellington - Sydney - Most humorous log

Sydney - Cape Town - Best action footage

Cape Town - Boston - Best audio interview

Boston - La Rochelle - Most descriptive Daily Log

There will also be an overall Media Prize for the Crew Volunteer who demonstrates the most aptitude for media communications during the Global Challenge. Unisys/ EMC will be awarding some exceptional prizes to the winners including a bungee jump in New Zealand, a helicopter ride over Sydney Harbour and a wine tasting tour in Cape Town. The winner's crew will also get a crate of beer, providing an incentive for the whole team to get involved!

Joanna BRACE, Marketing Director for Unisys comments: 'Unisys & EMC have chosen to sponsor the media prize due to the massive interest the race is generating globally and how with today's technology we have the ability to capture every memorable occurrence wherever the crew are in the world. The Global Challenge crews are the eyes and ears of this amazing race. We are very excited to be part of history in the making.'

Sir Chay BLYTH comments: 'We are delighted that Unisys/ EMC is sponsoring such an important prize as it gives the crews real motivation to send the media team all the material they need to make the website as exciting and well read as it is now. We already have 112,000 unique visitors to the site and the number grows day by day as more and more people are transfixed by this captivating race.

'The crews experience the most fantastic highs but also some incredible lows and to read and hear these accounts, first hand, makes the race come alive. Unisys/ EMC are adding real value to its yacht sponsorship of Imagine It. Done as the media is such an integral part of the race.'

Unisys/ EMC is also launching the Rubber Chicken Award, which will be presented to the crew, which has the most amusing incident on board during each leg. The rubber chicken, which was specially ordered by Unisys/ EMC and carefully shipped into Buenos Aires, will travel around the world with the Rubber Chicken team who win it on each leg!

Winners of this prize will be awarded a sight seeing trip round Wellington, courtesy of Hammond's Scenic Tours.

Rachel Anning (As Amended By ISAF NEws Editor)
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