Class 40 of Momentum Ocean Racing. Image copyright Jean-Marie Liot
by Will Carson
They have already joined forces on land – and now two rising stars of solo sailing have teamed up on the water to launch a top-level double-handed racing campaign.
Fiancées Dan Dytch and Emma Creighton will put their relationship through the ultimate test as they take on some of the world's most promising sailors in a series of races on 40ft Class 40 ocean racing yachts.
Competing as Momentum Ocean Racing, the couple will base themselves on the south coast of England and enter a string of testing events including the Class 40 world championships and the Transat Jacques Vabre, a double-handed race from Le Havre in France to Itajaí in Brazil.
The pair's ultimate goal is the Barcelona World Race, a two-handed, non-stop circumnavigation.
Briton Dytch, 30, and American yachtswoman Creighton, 28, met in 2011 in the run up to the Mini Transat, a 5,200 nautical mile singlehanded race from La Rochelle, France, to Salvador, Brazil.
They soon became a couple and, after both scoring impressive results in the Mini Transat, turned their attention to running a superyacht campaign in the Mediterranean.
But the draw of shorthanded sailing was too much and, after getting engaged in summer 2012, Dytch and Creighton decided to further cement their union by becoming teammates on the water too.
They join only a handful of sailors who have chosen to race alongside their partners including Sam Davies and husband Roman Attanasio who competed in the Transat AG2R together, Anglo-French pair Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire who raced around the world in the Global Ocean Race and French sailors Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret who entered the Barcelona World Race together.
Dytch said: "The step up to the Class 40 an exciting advance in our careers. The competition in the 40 is much closer than the Mini because the boat speed between the boats is much more similar. This allows us to work more on tactical decisions, weather, routing and crew work. This is an important step towards our goal of double handing the Barcelona World Race together."
Creighton added: “It's perfect to be sailing together. People often ask if its a good idea and we always reply 'why would we want to sail with anyone else?' We work really well together and bring different strengths to the team.”
Dytch and Creighton will be racing the former Concise Class 40, which scored good results under the command of British sailors Sam Goodchild and Ned Collier-Wakefield.
Class 40 yachts are designed to be raced across oceans, and attract some of the most talented sailors on the planet.
The first race of the season, the Normandy Channel Race, saw Momentum Ocean Racing finish eighth from 21 boats, followed by a class win in the Cervantes Trophy.
Their next outing sees them take on the Myth of Malham race starting on May 25.
The pair are currently self-funding their campaign but actively seeking sponsorship in return for exposure around the world.
2013 race calender:
May 25 - Myth of Malham, Solent, UK
June 1 - Round the Island Race, Isle of Wight, UK
July 4 - Les Sables-Horta, Les Sables d’Olonne, France
August 11 - Fastnet, Cowes, UK
August 17 - Class 40 Worlds – Plymouth, UK
November 3 - Transat Jacques Vabre – Le Havre, France
For more information about the Momentum Ocean Racing campaign, go to www.momentumoceanracing.com