Ireland. Skippers and mates selected for the Ireland Challenge 2006 Print E-mail
Friday, 14 April 2006
Rachel Anning:

The five skippers and their first mates have been selected for the forthcoming and inaugural Ireland Challenge, which sets sail for a non-stop circumnavigation of Ireland, from Dublin to Dublin, on Saturday, 22nd April 2006. Challenge Business announced the names following a lengthy selection process and the final list incorporates current Challenge employees and new skippers chosen specifically for their sailing and management skills.

The Ireland Challenge 2006 skippers and mates are: Marcus Cholerton and Stephen Durkin; Justin Taylor and Hannah Jenner; Jim Allen and Andrew Buchanan; Richard Franklin and Ricky Chalmers; Stewart Richardson and Duncan Jubb. Between them they have sailed almost 700,000 nautical miles.

They will be the only paid professional sailors on the race, the crew made up of men and women from all walks of life and profession; three quarters of them having never sailed before starting their training.

Sir Chay Blyth CBE BEM, executive chairman of Challenge Business explains: “The selection process we employee at Challenge Business has always been rigorous as we demand a lot from the skippers. Not only do they need first class sailing skills but, perhaps more importantly, their management skills need to be a cut above the rest.

“They will take a group of 15 individuals and in just one week hone them into a racing, and possibly, winning team. That takes a certain calibre of skipper. Out on the race course the Ireland Challenge will be a tough but very exciting event. The yachts will probably be within sight of one another the whole way round, which adds to the pressure for these professionals. Timing will be paramount with tidal gates and the weather dictating a possible concertina effect at the end. This is one of the shortest races we’ve ever run and the demands on the skippers and their mates will be full-on the whole way round.

”In return the skippers and mates will be taking part in an event which looks set to be a spectacular race with lots of opportunities. The people and businesses within Dublin have really taken the yacht race to their hearts and the scene is set for a truly memorable first race.”

The event kicks off this weekend with the crews making their way down to Plymouth today. This evening they will find out who their skipper, mate and crew will be for the forthcoming race.

As a crew they will then set sail, on Saturday, on their first training session as a team, making their way across to Ireland and consolidating what they learnt on their initial training sails. There will then be a ceremonial arrival into Dublin on Tuesday 18th April with the yachts parading right the way through the centre of the capital and to what will be their home port, Dublin City Moorings.

They will be at Dublin City Moorings for four days whilst the crews provision the yacht, prepare them for the race and prepare their racing strategies with their skippers and mates.

The start day on the 22nd April will be a major event with commentary, a parade of sail for the yachts, confetti cannons and music.

Challenge Business has recently announced new sponsors for the Ireland Challenge: Spencer Dock, Dublin Dockland Development Authority, Dublin Port Company, Quality Hotel Dublin, Clarion Hotel Dublin IFSC and Abbey Tours, all from the capital’s key business districts who have come onboard as sponsors of the inaugural race.

Full skipper biographies are available to download from the website:
Last Updated ( Friday, 14 April 2006 )
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