Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

Velux Canada Hosts Derek Hatfield's Welcome Home

by Elizabeth A Kerr on 11 Jun 2011
Canadian sailor, Derek Hatfield sharing stories about his participation in the VELUX 5 Oceans single-handed yacht race around the world at VELUX Canada Inc. on June 9th in Oakville, ON. Courtesy of Ketchum Public Relations Canada
Nels Moxness, President, Velux Canada and avid supporter and dear friend officially welcomed Derek back to Canada yesterday after he successfully finished the 2010/2011 Velux 5 Oceans Race. Unlike Derek's competitors, Derek's Spirit of Canada Campaign has raised the funds to support this campaign one kilometer, one supporting name on deck and one dollar at a time. Although amazing donations consistently flowed in from friends of the Spirit of Canada Campaign, the significant contribution from Active House made Derek's latest entry possible. (Active House is a vision of buildings that create healthier and more comfortable lives for their occupants without negative impact on the climate – moving us towards a cleaner, healthier and safer world.)

In his usual fashion, Derek casually and charmingly shared stories of the 20-minute cat naps, freeze-dried foods, and the psychological impact this kind of challenge can present. Even although Derek has done nearly 20 transatlantic crossings since 1993, as well as two former attempts to circumnavigate the world (one successful), he admitted that until he had safely rounded Cape Horn (a temporarily near tragic waypoint in a former race), he was on tenterhooks 24/7.
The Velux 5 Oceans is a 32,000-mile race, and with four stops along the way, takes approximately 130 days. This race is sailed on an ECO 60 by all competitors; it is a boat designed on the unique balance of weight and displacement. It is powerful, noisy and fast. Derek admitted that now, after 50,000+ miles onboard, he thinks he finally understands her complexities.

Despite the SATNAV technology, times are tough and lonely. Although the phone can ring five times a day, adjusting sail trim, doing repairs and simply taking in the current waypoint using the electronics always takes precedence, unless of course it is a MAYDAY call. No matter what position you are in nor whether you are winning or losing, a distress call from a competitor becomes a #1 priority. It's a given. It's the way of life on sea.

When asked what the lowlight was, believe it or not, it was when there was no wind, no weather and no boat speed. Apparently 30-knot winds and 10-foot swells are warmly welcomed for these sailors. Who knew? The highlight for Derek, without a doubt, was rounding Cape Horn on one of the 25 days each year where it presents great weather and safe seas.
Now what? Derek has only been back on Canada's safe turf for four days, so it is way too soon to tell what's next. Suffice to say, whether it is another race or not, Derek is passionate about keeping the sport of sailing on the map in Canada.
Sponsorship for sailing is an ongoing challenge, for single-handed sailors like Derek, our Canadian Sailing Team (en route to the 2012 Olympic Games in London), the many local, regional and national regattas that Canada hosts, as well as organizers of and participants in world-wide events, such as the upcoming 2015 Pan American Games.

Velux Worldwide – title sponsor of the Velux 5 Oceans Race– stepped up to the plate. As Nels Moxness said in his welcoming comments today, 'The challenges the skippers go through [during this race] dealing with Mother Nature, wind, rain and extreme temperatures mirrors what our skylight products have to go through to perform. It is probably self-explanatory why we picked this sport to sponsor.'

If only other Canadian corporations could find as elegant a metaphor to justify sponsoring our sport.
Derek is a Canadian icon. He represents pride, determination, stick-toitiveness and passion. Whatever passion Derek chooses to nurture next, I am confident that Canada will continue to support and applaud him as only we can… quietly, cautiously but in a meaningful way.
Wildwind 2016 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted today at 1:34 pm
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted today at 12:58 pm
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug