Skandia Cowes Week: Playboy Model; Sophie Reade heats up Spice Race

Thursday, 07 August 2008


What do you do when you want to promote a yacht race?  Take pictures of boats? Hand out flyers?

Well, not according to the Spice Race team, organisers of the new ocean race which starts on the 15th November and runs from Cowes, IOW to Grenada, WI.

For a bit of Skandia Cowes Week fun, the team decided to take over part of Hamble Yacht Services boat yard for a ‘spoof’’ glamour shoot to stir up some interest and get some pre-race publicity.

Playboy Model; Sophie Reade, arrived in the “Spice Machine”  a black leathered Audi R8 with 4321 blazing down the side; which just  happens to be the number of  miles from the Solent to Grenada. She was met by “Concise “ Skipper Ned.

Everybody downed tools and out came the camera phones. The yard more or less came to a standstill as Sophie showed a real interest in the yacht’s appendages.

Everything got a bit over heated in the midday sun so Ned decided to cool things down a bit with his hosepipe, making sure there was no Rule 69 infringement. Sophie wanted just to show how good she was with the scrubbing brush.

Ned Collier Wakefield, Class 40 racer, and Captain of Tony Lawson’s “Concise”, talks about their rather novel approach and how the Race is progressing.

What gave you the idea for the photo shoot?

Well you can’t give something a name like ‘Spice’ and then serve people porridge. We take all aspects of the race, especially safety, extremely seriously but there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a bit of a laugh as well. Believe me the race itself might be hard work but there are lots of fun things planned in Grenada.

How is the organization of the Spice Race coming along?

The Spice Race is working in association with the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, which is the official organizing body. They are very experienced race managers and will be hosting the event; overseeing the inspections, the race start in the U.K and the finish in Grenada. RSYC’s attitude has been amazing. They have been so proactive and responsive to the ideas we have put to them.

Has the Spice Race attracted any sponsors or partners, to date?

We are looking for a title sponsor and official suppliers. There is a great opportunity for companies to get in at the ground level of what we are sure will be a world class event. In the meanwhile Spice Race CEO, Tony Lawson has confirmed his company will be underwriting the race as well as the British Ladies Team. We already have some local support from companies such as Wight Vodka, Marlow Ropes, Grapefruit Graphics  who have agreed to become partners and suppliers. Over in Grenada the Government, Camper Nicholson, Spice Island Marine, Calabash Hotel, La Luna and True Blue Resorts are all firmly behind us. Some recognise the potential of the event, others just want to help, get involved with something new.

Have the Spice Girls been selected to crew Concise?

Not yet!  We are still in the trial stages. We go out again on Thursday with another group of girls and will continue throughout August. It is still early days and we are still accepting applicants. So far though, I have been really impressed with the level of the candidates.

Remember, as well as the main event we are trying to organise a “race within a race”. We have had interest from French, Dutch, Irish and American girls all wanting to race so we are trying to put together “Ladies National Teams” to race against each other for a dedicated prize. We think this will be a first for an offshore race.

Louay Habib

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 August 2008 )