Wednesday, 23 March 2011

VELUX5OCEANS: Velux 5 Oceans Hits the Water for Disaster Charity Relief Fund

VELUX5OCEANS. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/VELUX5OCEANS.

by Sarah Hames

THERE were plenty of healthy rivalries on the water in Punta del Este as the VELUX 5 OCEANS staged a charity regatta to raise money for the Red Cross Disaster Fund in support of New Zealand and Japan.

The skippers, their teams, the race management, members of Yacht Club Punta del Este and local volunteers took to the water in four-man keelboats for a series of hotly contested races in the bay.

After six races the event ended in a tie between VELUX 5 OCEANS race director David Adams and Yacht Club Punta del Este’s top racing coach Luis ‘Chato’ Chiaparro.

Despite being a fun event the regatta had a serious purpose – to raise much-needed funds for the victims of the earthquakes that devastated Christchurch in New Zealand and Japan.

“The VELUX 5 OCEANS was very saddened by the news of the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan,” said David Adams. “We wanted to show our support for those affected by these terrible tragedies by holding a charity regatta here in Punta del Este. It was well supported and we hope the money raised will now go to those who need it most.”

Polish skipper Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski also took some time away from repairs to Operon Racing to enjoy some fishing. Ever the competitor, Gutek refused to reel in his line until he had caught the biggest fish of the day, which he did with the last cast of the day!


Don’t miss the chance to ask your favourite VELUX 5 OCEANS skippers questions in our series of live webchats starting tomorrow.

Timetable for webchats:

Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski (POL): Tuesday March 22, 1800 UTC
Chris Stanmore-Major (GBR): Tuesday March 22, 1830 UTC
Brad Van Liew (USA): Wednesday March 23, 2300 UTC
Derek Hatfield (CAN): Wednesday March 23, 2330 UTC

Webchats for Brad Van Liew, Derek Hatfield and Chris Stanmore-Major will be in English. Gutek’s webchat will take place in Polish for the first 20 minutes then in English for the last ten minutes.

The 30-minute webchats will be hosted on the Eco 60 class website

Audio with VELUX5OCEANS Skippers

Brad Van Liew (USA) on his strategy for making it four wins out of four in the next leg
Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski (POL) on the keel repairs he has carried out in Punta Del Este and his strategy for the next leg of the race
Derek Hatfield (CAN) reflects on leg three and talks through his strategy for Ocean Sprint 4 and the final preparations that will get him to North America
Chris Stanmore-Major (GBR) talks through his issues on leg 3 and plans for leg 4 of the VELUX5OCEANS