FOXALL, aged 37, has competed in two Volvo Ocean Races in 2005-06 onboard Ericsson responsible for bow, mast and rigging; then again in 2001-2002 with Team Tyco. He was part of the America's Cup 2004 K Challenge crew for Acts 2 and 3 and was one of the Cheyenne crew for their successful assault on the Jules Verne non-stop crewed round-the-world record, setting a new time of 58 days, 9 hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds. But FOXALL not only brings the experience of large professional crewed events to this new partnership with DICK, he has also competed in the solo and short-handed circuits including the 1997 Solitaire du Figaro (top 'rookie') and the AG2R double-handed race in 2000. Combined with his Olympic Tornado campaign in 2003, FOXALL is one of the rare sailors who can deliver this width and breadth of experience to a race campaign.
FOXALL is the ninth skipper to be named for the new double-handed Barcelona World Race that starts on 11 November 2007 with five top IMOCA 60 campaigns confirmed so far and more expected over the next couple of months. These nine skippers already represent five different nationalities - French, British, Australian, Swiss and Irish - from an extensive mix of solo and crewed experience.
Why did you choose Damian FOXALL as co-skipper for the Barcelona World Race?
Jean-Pierre DICK: First, Damian has good experience in offshore racing since he has already sailed in five around the world races and has sailed on different types of boats. Then, this around the world will last for nearly three months, so it is important to leave with someone you like, which is true of Damian. For me, the human side of racing is as important and the sporting side, since those who win the race will be the best united team!
What are Damian's qualities?
Jean-Pierre DICK: He's been around for a good while. Damian is versatile and skilled in many areas. He could easily be the skipper of the boat on his own. He's an excellent technician who will lend a hand in preparing the boat but will also help out if there's a problem during the race. He's both intuitive and rational, and we both have the desire to perform well in common.
What made you enter this race with Jean-Pierre DICK?
Damian FOXALL: When Jean-Pierre asked me to be his co-skipper for the Barcelona World Race, I didn't need to think hard about it! We had already sailed together in the Sailing Tour de France in 2001 and I really enjoyed it. He has been working on projects that produce good results for a long time. For me, he is one of the favourites in this race. So, there was no hesitation!
What do you think of your duo and this race?
Damian FOXALL: We are both really motivated by this race which is the event of the year 2007. In human terms, it will be very rewarding. I think that there will be lot things to discuss with Jean-Pierre. This is important, because we'll be together for a long time! However, this is an excellent race concept with a great line up. From a sport point of view it is interesting since it fits with our common objective of preparing for the Vendée Globe.
How is the start of your collaboration shaping up?
Damian FOXALL: I'll be leaving to meet up with Jean-Pierre in New Zealand mid-February. We are going to concentrate on preparing Paprec Virbac before bringing her back to France. And then we will do a lot of sailing together this year, since I will be sailing with Jean-Pierre in all the races this season.
The new IMOCA 60 Paprec Virbac will be launched in New Zealand in the next few days.
Jean-Pierre DICK (FRA) and Damian FOXALL (IRL), Paprec Virbac
Vincent RIOU (FRA) and Sébastien JOSSE (FRA), PRB
Dominique WAVRE (SUI) and Michèle PARET (FRA), Temenos
Alex THOMSON (GBR) and Andrew CAPE (AUS), Hugo Boss
Jérémie BEYOU (FRA) and TBA, Delta Dore
The Barcelona World Race: a new two-handed non-stop round the world yacht race starting November 2007, to be held every 4 years. For the first time, this race will see the world's best professional sailors from both worlds of solo and fully crewed disciplines, competing against each other in teams of two. Racing 25,000 miles over 3 months across the planet's most hostile and challenging oceans in high performance IMOCA Open 60 monohulls. Providing a high-level of competition and adventure communicated by pioneering technology to a global audience.
For all the news on the Barcelona World Race CLICK HERE.