by Oliver Dewar
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) is a double-handed, round the world race for Class40 yachts starting in September 2011. The race is a total of approximately 30,000 nautical miles.
Campagne de France joins Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron as sponsor for the GOR - Global Ocean Race 2011-12
In late September last year, the Franco-English entry in the double-handed GOR Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, took delivery of their Finot-Conq-designed Pogo 40S² hull and deck. Since then, the duo has been ceaselessly working on fitting-out the boat’s bare shell, organising the mast and keel build and sourcing and fitting all deck and electronic equipment while continuing to hunt for vital funding to compete in the GOR. Mid-last week, with 88 days remaining until the start gun fires in Palma, Mallorca, Mabire and Merron revealed their new sponsor and the striking livery of their boat.
'We are delighted to announce that Campagne de France will be on the start line of the Global Ocean Race,' said British yachtswoman, Miranda Merron. Campagne de France is part of the France Frais company which distributes and promotes high-quality, locally-produced food throughout France. For Halvard Mabire, the funding is fundamental to the project’s success: 'Although we had managed to progress a long way with the boat build, thanks to the support of our faithful technical partners, it was essential that a title sponsor join the campaign to enable us to get to the start of the race,' Mabire explains. 'We are now partially funded and hope to entice another sponsor or two on board,' he adds.
Last Wednesday morning, Campagne de France, complete with new livery designed by local company i-pub, left the duo’s MORA Boatyard in Barneville-Carteret on an AltéAd low-loader for a 20-mile journey through Normandy to JMV Industries in Cherbourg.
'At JMV, the delicate operation of attaching the keel to the boat will take place,' reports Merron. The keel for Campagne de France has been designed with the invaluable expertise of the aero/hydrodynamics engineer, Giorgio Provinciali, with whom Mabire collaborated as part of the Foncia Design Team during the design of Alain Gautier’s trimaran. The keel fin and two-tonne lead bulb has been built at the Cherbourg facility of DCNS and has been transported to the nearby JMV yard. 'DCNS’s immense knowledge of steel and welding techniques enabled us to choose a design which makes the most of the characteristics of high strength steel,' explains Mabire.
Josh Hall, Race Director of the GOR, has been following the campaign closely: 'Halvard and Miranda epitomise the spirit of the Global Ocean Race perfectly,' says Hall. 'Total commitment, hard work and complimentary skill-sets have combined to create their potentially race-winning Class40 and we applaud Campagne de France for supporting this exceptional team,' he adds. 'Now we are looking forward, as we are sure the duo is, to seeing them launch their boat and getting her worked-up for the GOR start in September.'
Global Ocean Race website