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17 November 2003, 10:20 am
Boating Partners Backs Victory Bid
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2005 Mini Transat
Southampton

Further to Boating Partners' recent confirmation of Manley HOPKINSON as their skipper for their Volvo Ocean Race syndicate, they are thrilled to announce their next major ocean racing project.
Boating Partners is backing the twenty four year old yachtswoman Clemency WILLIAMS, to compete in and win the Mini Transat 2005. Despite this year's race only recently concluding, the project is already underway with Boating Partners in discussions with potential sponsors. The ultimate aim of the team is to enable Clemency to qualify for, and win the gruelling 4,500 mile trans-Atlantic race in her specially designed 21ft. sailing boat; by achieving this goal, she would become the first British female to win the race. The event is traditionally dominated by French yachtsman, but previous British female competitors have included Ellen MACARTHUR and Sam DAVIES.

Clemency, whose ambitions include competing in all the major offshore races and inshore regattas worldwide, 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. Clemency starts her training in earnest this week in Hamble.

"The prospect of racing singlehanded, in a very small boat across several thousand miles of Atlantic Ocean really excites me and I'm thrilled to be working with a group of professionals such as Boating Partners," said Clemency. She added, "I'm looking forward to the challenge of succeeding in what is still a very male dominated event. I know that the inspiring, and at times terrifying experience of the Mini Transat will help to prepare me for future, even more daunting ocean races."

Clemency's sailing career began at an early age aboard her father's yacht. Inspired by her family's passion for the sport, she has accumulated many miles of experience over the years. She has 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. She has recently been working for Sir Chay Blyth's Challenge Business involved with corporate hospitality, race regattas and offshore adventure sailing. Over time, her sailing ambitions have increasingly 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 enjoyed a busy year on the water, demonstrating her racing potential in both the UK and Sydney. Her 2003 success has included double-handed victories during July in J-105 Jos: RSYC Round the Island and RORC Myth of Malham. She also enjoyed two second places at the RORC Cowes - St Vaast and RORC Cowes - Cherbourg. The Mini Transat will be 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 win both on and off the water. They intend to do so by bringing together the best in the world for each part of the campaign. 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. BPUK is confident that they will soon confirm the support of other key companies and brands. 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.

"We are really pleased to be working with such a promising, gifted and gutsy sailor as Clemency on this Mini Transat campaign. The race is another great opportunity for Boating Partners to really make its mark - we believe that we have the team that will give Clemency the best chance of becoming the first British woman to win this prestigious event," said Manley Hopkinson, Managing Director of Boating Partners UK Ltd.
Angus Macdonald
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