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October Meeting: The Ocean Race and 11th Hour Racing Team

By Bob Naylor, Rear Commodore

For our October monthly meeting, we’ll be shifting our date and time to accommodate the busy sailing schedule of guest speaker Mark Towill, CEO and co-skipper of the 11th Hour Racing Team. Of more than a dozen teams competing in The Ocean Race 2022-23, the US has but one – the 11th Hour Team out of Newport, RI. They’re busy sailing – training hard and testing their bodies, minds, and equipment for the challenges ahead.

Mark will update us on The Ocean Race, his team’s preparations, and their commitment to ocean health and stewardship. You won’t want to miss this!

 ATTENTION:  DAY, DATE, and TIME Change
MARK YOUR CALENDAR (Or use the AYC one – it’s updated)

Thursday, October 15th at 6:00 pm (note time change)
This is Zoom Meeting
The meeting link is also on the AYC Calendar, or you can join the meeting below.

One race stands alone as the world’s most challenging; the round-the-world Ocean Race. Debuting in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race and renamed The Volvo Ocean Race in 2001, the race covers nearly 40,000-nautical miles over nine months. Millions follow this race held every 3-4 years.

The next race kicks off in 2022 as “The Ocean Race.” True to its historical roots, it pits teams of steel-hard men and women against each other and the unforgiving sea, often in grueling, dangerous conditions that have had tragic results.  For the first time, the race will feature two classes – the classic Volvo Ocean 65, which has produced incredibly tight competition in two previous races; and the foiling IMOCA 60, which rides the cutting edge of technology for offshore monohulls.

Mark grew up sailing on the eastern shores of Oahu, Hawaii, before racing at both the Punahou High School and the Brown University Sailing Team, where he sailed with fellow 11th Hour Racing co-founder Charlie Enright. 
In 2008 at the age of 18, Mark was selected to participate in the 44th Transpac Race aboard Morning Light, where he first met Charlie.
Mark was the youngest member on the team, and the experience crystallized his ultimate goal of competing in the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, which he did in 2014-15 with Team Alvimedica. The duo put together a second campaign for 2017-18 with Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

Related links:
The Ocean Race (website)
One Planet, One Ocean, Your Team (6 min video)
Newport Homecoming – Live from Fort Adams (48 min video)
Building an IMOCA 60 for The Ocean Race (5 min video)
11th Hour Racing Team (website)
Disney’s Morning Light – The 2008 movie that chronicles the adventure of 15 rookie sailors crewing aboard the high-tech sloop Morning Light in the Transpac Yacht Race. Watch Trailer