British skipper Alex Thomson and his team will collaborate with aspiring Canadian Scott Shawyer in a project which is designed to popularise solo ocean racing, and especially the Vendée Globe, in Canada.
Canada Ocean Racing is an initiative which will hopefully see 51 year old lifetime sailor Shawyer, a successful businessman, become the first Canadian to complete the Vendée Globe.
And while the initial target is the 2028 race the shared objective is to build a sustainable long term project which will go on to support other Canadian sailors at the same time building a business which will grow in value as the following builds in a territory where there is a big public that is largely new to ocean racing.
Canada Ocean Racing already have an IMOCA, the former Offshore Team Germany (acciona) which is presently heading to Canada to help promote the project.
The new organisation’s launch material says, “A core team of Canadian sailors will manage the day to day running of the yacht’s technical performance while the team embarks on a rigorous schedule of offshore training and race preparation. From youth engagement programs with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Foundation to gender equity and inclusion opportunities with The Magenta Project, the Canada Ocean Racing team will encourage the next generation to choose their own adventure and create a pathway for future athletes, helping them to build the necessary pathways and networks in performance sailing.”
Speaking at the launch of the programme Thomson said, “When I met Scott, I knew that together we could continue my goal of taking this incredible sport to a wider international audience. I am delighted that together we are launching the newly founded, Canada Ocean Racing team. The Vendée Globe and solo offshore sailing has been such an important part of my life and is so much more than a sport. It inspires and engages so many people, and I think to bring the sport to a relatively new market like Canada will help to continue the growth and internationalisation of the sport. Scott has all the raw ingredients required to sail solo around the world, and together with his business experience, drive, and commitment, we are going to create a long term and meaningful campaign, and hopefully have some fun on the way.”