New educational website launched that will enable school children to track the round-the-world yachtsman Graham Dalton as he competes in the Around Alone yacht race.
A native New Zealander, Dalton's compatriots from the London-based Ngati Ranana Maori Club helped officially launch the programme, performing the traditional 'Haka' ceremony. The traditional 'Haka' involves a colourful and musical ceremony that is followed by visitors and hosts rubbing noses as a sign of peace and friendship.
The Around Alone race will start in New York in September and schools will be able to chart Dalton's progress by taking part in the HSBC Global Education Challenge. The challenge is a programme of 32 online weekly modules aimed at children aged between 9 and 12, and can be accessed through www.education.hsbc.com.
The modules will focus on the different aspects of the natural world that Dalton's HSBC-sponsored yacht, 'Hexagon', will face on its circumnavigation, including weather systems and energy, wildlife, geography, nutrition and culture.
Sir John Bond, Chairman of the HSBC Group, said: "Children and adults alike watch in wonder as sportsmen like Graham set out on these great adventures, with the pictures relayed to our safe and comfortable homes. Our initiative gives schools a unique opportunity to share the experience with Graham and to learn about some of the experiences that he will be having."
Over 25,000 headteachers across the UK have already received a resource pack containing a race map, stickers for their pupils and a personal invitation to view the website in advance of the new academic year. Together these resources aim to make the race a hugely exciting educational experience.
The yacht's skipper, Graham Dalton, is a keen supporter of educational initiatives and will be filing daily reports on the website. He said: "It is a great source of satisfaction to me that I am able to share this fantastic experience with so many young people, and that everything that I learn on my trip can be passed on."
In addition to sponsoring 'Hexagon', HSBC has invested US$1 million in developing the Global Education Challenge. The 32 online modules contain work on science, mathematics, English, geography, history, technology, art and music. A range of skills must be employed to complete the modules, and children will be rewarded with a 'treasure chest' of fun activities for completing them. The site is open to anyone who is interested in following the race and 'Hexagon's' progress, and users can register to receive daily e-mail news and updates.
Around Alone this year celebrates its 20th anniversary and to celebrate, the 28,800 nautical mile (33,140 mile) race is returning to its original port of Newport, Rhode Island (USA). A 'prologue race' will see the 18 competitors sail from Newport to New York City on 12 September 2002.
Around Alone 2002-03 officially starts from New York City on Sunday 15 September 2002, in a one-off tribute to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th, and takes the fleet to Torbay (England), Cape Town (South Africa), Tauranga (New Zealand) and Salvador da Bahia (Brazil), before returning to Newport in April 2003.