Two very different men, with two very different boats. One single common aim, to be fastest round the world.

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DEREK HATFIELD - SPIRIT OF CANADA

Canadian Derek Hatfield didn’t set his heart on being a professional sailor at an early age. He started his working life as a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, then spent a number of years managing compliance activities for brokerage firms in the securities industry.  Even now, Derek is not just a professional sailor, for he combines that career with one of motivational speaker .
 
Derek’s last major ocean race was the 2002 Around Alone, in a boat he built  with the tireless help of his family and many friends.

In the fourth leg of that race, off the infamous Cape Horn, the first Spirit of Canada pitch poled in a gale that created 60 foot waves. The yacht  was dismasted and Derek had to motor for over 30 hours to reach Ushuaia, in Argentina.

There Derek and his team of friends and supporters worked for four weeks to repair the boat and get him back in the race.  


On May 31st 2003, after almost 8 months at sea, Derek crossed the Newport finish  to a hero’s welcome, as hundreds of people came out to pay homage to the man who just wouldn’t quit. Derek’s was the fastest 40’ boat throughout the event.

Now Derek and friends, with some professional help, have built and launched a new 60 foot Spirit of Canada, in which Derek  aims to win the prestigious non-stop, round-the-world 2008 Vendée Globe  solo race.

Like the first Spirit of Canada, this new racing yacht still has no major sponsor, the work is still being done mainly by family and friends. Some things can’t be provided by volunteer help though.

 

FRANCK CAMMAS - GROUPAMA 3

Frenchman Franck Cammas does not need to worry about where his next mast and sails are coming from. Franck became a professional sailor at the age of 25, when Groupama spotted his talents and gave him the helm of an ORMA class trimaran.

Nine years later, Cammas is still skippering big tris for the French insurance group and has, recently, been conducting sea trials on the latest of these; the 32 metre trimaran Groupama  3, which has been built to break ocean records, in particular the round-the-world record held by another Frenchman, Bruno Peyron, with an astonishing time of 50 days.

Groupama 3 - launched in 2006 - was built by Vannes based Multiplast, the yard that both designed and built Peyron’s Orange  II, which holds many of the records that Cammas will be hoping to beat.

Cammas’ last ocean race was the 2006 Route du Rhum solo trans-Atlantic race, in which he finished  5th - a result one suspects he found somewhat dissappointing given that he was on Groupama 2, the trimaran that had trounced the other ORMA class Route du Rhum entrants, in the 2006 MultiCup.

 

Over the last nine years, Groupama has spent many millions of euros on keeping Franck Cammas and their trimarans at the top of the multihull racing tree. The result has been phenomenally successful, in terms of his race record. Out of 51 starts in Groupama tris, Cammas has achieved  24 victories and 44 podium places and has been world ORMA champion 4 times.