UK & France. Developer to race Express 40 in Global Ocean Challenge race Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 April 2006
Paul Metcalf:

Paul Metcalf the offshore sailor behind Sail Ventures - the developers of the Express 40 - a Class 40 yacht, has announced that he will be racing one of his boats in the round the world Global Ocean Challenge race in 2007.

The Express 40, designed by Owen Clarke and built in the UK and France, is an epoxy sandwich offshore racing Class 40 with an optional bolt in interior for cruising - a more speed orientated boat fitting the increasingly popular Class 40 rule - but at a production boat price.

Paul Metcalf commented “I have always been a big fan of the GOC concept and we are talking with a significant number of entrants that want Express 40’s - so much so that the original design has been modified so that they can be more easily made ISAF Cat 0 compliant with regards to watertight bulkheads etc. The number of serious Express 40 enquiries together with the “Competitor first” attitude of the organisers makes this an irresistible opportunity.”

Of course Paul still has to find sponsors - albeit for less than a quarter of the cost of a Vendee Globe campaign, but at least he knows someone to lend or sell him a boat! Having competed in the 2005 Transat Jacques Vabre on a tight budget, he knows only too well the need for solid sponsorship as early on as possible.

With the reduced campaign and boat cost, for Paul and the other competitors there is the opportunity to market a round the world race to a whole new level of potential sponsors. There are a lot more companies of a size that can benefit from a slice of a 450K Euro campaign than can afford title sponsorship of an Open 60 or Volvo 70. With a 9 month duration, five country stops and decent length stop over times - not to mention Brian Hancock organising the race media - the GOC competitors should represent a very profitable marketing opportunity for sponsors.

Commenting on the boats Paul said “ When we developed the Express 40 I went to people I could trust and feel comfortable with for the design, the build and the components such as the keel and the carbon mast. Everyone we chose for the production of the boats is involved with serious offshore yacht racing - they know what it means to race across oceans and importantly, when single or short-handed how much you rely on the equipment and how well it was planned and installed. I don’t need to make any changes to the build or equipment spec for my boat, I will be getting the same Express 40 as the other entrants”

Josh Hall, Vendee Globe veteran and one of the principal organisers of the Global Ocean Challenge said "We are thrilled about Paul Metcalf's entry in the GOC 2007-08. Paul's was one of the opinions that we canvassed in our research about creating the event and has since committed himself to creating a production run of

Express 40's, the excellent Owen-Clarke Class 40 design. Thankfully he could not resist entering the race as well! Welcome aboard Paul!"

The opportunity to take part in races like the GOC, the Route du Rhum and shorter offshore races is part of the drive and success behind the Class 40. For a reasonable cost the average boat owner can buy a production boat that they can race competitively round the world or trans-ocean, yet still use as an express cruiser on the weekends. Combined with the rise in popularity of single and double handed sailing in the UK and places like Norway, it certainly helps explain the phenomenal take up of the Class 40 in such a short time.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 April 2006 )
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