Canada Ocean Racing Aiming to Compete within the Vendee Globe

Canada Ocean Racing is a newly based offshore racing enterprise by former tech-engineering CEO Scott Shawyer. He’s aiming to be the primary Canadian to finish the Vendee Globe – a solo, around the world race. To assist him on this endeavour shall be 5x Vendee Globe competitor Alex Thomson.

Canada Ocean Racing -Picture by Mark Lloyd

A part of this initiative consists of STEM packages which is able to train youth all in regards to the climate, navigation, life monitoring programs in addition to how the boat works. They may even be working with The Magenta Challenge (an advocacy group that raises consciousness for ladies concerned with the efficiency crusing), sea cadets and native yacht golf equipment to construct a group round this marketing campaign.

We obtained an opportunity to talk with Scott to search out out extra.

What does it take to compete within the Vendée Globe and why is it so powerful? What sorts of preparation does it require?

I’d argue the Vendee Globe because the hardest sporting competitors on the planet since you’re utterly alone, in a continuous race all over the world for 3-4 months, battling the weather. There’s no different competitors that checks your bodily and psychological stamina and endurance just like the Vendee Globe.

The principles are easy, you are taking all the pieces you want, you’ll be able to’t step foot on land and may’t take any help, and as soon as you allow France it’s a must to get again by yourself. The preparation nonetheless, effectively that’s one other story! I’m taking the subsequent 6 years to organize and be taught all the pieces I would like- from expertise to security and technical protocols, 2028 is simply the correct quantity of time. It’s additionally not simply in regards to the finish aim, it’s in regards to the journey for me. I’m beginning out as a real novice and hope to return out of this as the primary Canadian to finish the race! Coaching began with my first transatlantic crossing this previous summer- it was thrilling to say the least, if you’re confronted with swells of 4 meter waves. Past spending time on the water engaged on my crusing abilities I’m additionally engaged on a lot of psychological instruments to cope with anxiousness, isolation and even sea illness.

What has been your hardest race thus far?

At this level, I’m an novice sailor. I’ve sailed dinghies and small keel boats since I used to be a child, however it is a new realm for me. I’m getting into my first double handed race within the IMOCA early subsequent 12 months. From there, I’m going to enter just a few of the doublehanded and solo IMOCA Globe sequence races main as much as Vendee Globe 2024 so I get accustomed to the fleet and the competitors earlier than it begins to rely.

Canada Ocean Racing - Photo by Mark Lloyd
Scott Shawyer of Canada Ocean Racing – Picture by Mark Lloyd

Inform us about a number of the methods you might be partaking youth and introducing them to crusing.

After I was eight years previous, I developed my ardour for sailing- I used to sail dinghies at my household’s cottage. Earlier than I knew it, I used to be crusing catamarans and even competing on Antrim 27 sports activities boats.

Due to my publicity to crusing as a toddler, I can confidently say that I’ve discovered my life’s ardour. I need to present the identical experiences for different youngsters and encourage the subsequent technology to tackle their very own journey. We provide younger individuals the chance to step onboard the IMOCA 60 yacht and perceive the alternatives out there to them. For instance, we’ll invite college students to attend boat excursions and STEM classes as an after-school exercise. I’ve all the time been keen about investing in youngsters it’s one of many explanation why I co-authored the “Go Outdoors Exercise Problem Ebook” which inspires youngsters to have interaction in out of doors exploration.

The place will the Canada Ocean Racing group be primarily based and the place will they prepare?

We’ll prepare primarily out of Europe. A lot of the races within the sequence main as much as the Vendee Globe begin in France, so it makes geographic sense for us to be there. It’s also not presently sensible for us to coach out of Canada, however we’d love to do that as soon as the infrastructure is in place to service a racing boat likes ours.

Our long-term aim is that the group relies out of Canada and that we — even when the boat just isn’t bodily right here — shall be working with group to develop the abilities required to work in an ocean racing group.

How can youth get entangled with the assorted packages being supplied?

Now we have engaged with a lot of youth packages throughout our time in Canada this 12 months and we’ll proceed to do that. These vary from very enthusiastic sea cadets to college crusing groups and youth sailors from native crusing golf equipment. Every group was given an in-depth technical tour of the boat. Once we arrange the group, we realized that we wanted to work arduous to develop and encourage the subsequent technology, to point out them that there are actual careers in a group like ours, it’s not all about being a sailor – we additionally want engineers, riggers, painters, social media, designers, finance and plenty of different roles. Crusing brings to life most of the science, math’s and environmental topics and it’s additionally nice on your geography! For instance, how do you get a 60-foot race boat from the Atlantic to Toronto? What are the forces at work on crusing boat? How does the carbon cycle work within the ocean? These are just some of the subjects on provide.

While we had been right here in Toronto we additionally ran a session for the Magenta Challenge which champions getting extra females into our sport, a gaggle of 8 feminine sailors spent two days with us they usually took half in workshops on rigging, climate, sponsorship and spent a time out coaching with us in over 25 knots of wind!

How did you group up with Alex Thomson? How did the connection come about?

I’m trying to construct a profitable enterprise that thrives lengthy after I’ve raced, so who higher to get onboard than a legend like Alex Thomson, who has run a really skilled group on this area for over 20 years. I do need to quick monitor and Alex has accomplished 5x vendee globes which is greater than half of the Vendee Globes which have existed! Alex’s group are what many would contemplate essentially the most profitable, lengthy operating IMOCA group on the planet. There may be a lot to assembling a marketing campaign like this that I assumed it might be good to get a head begin and be taught from the very best so I’ve contracted Alex and his group to assist us construct a group for Canada. Our aim is to not solely achieve success within the Vendee Globe 2028 however to construct and function a professionally run IMOCA program right here in Canada for a few years to return.



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