Father and son duo Ross and Campbell Field, have started their next sailing challenge, when they embarked on the epic 33,000-mile Global Ocean Race onboard the Class40 BSL. The 2011-2012 Global Ocean Race is the only round the world race for Class40 yachts, and it is very much the duo’s drive to win the race.
Asked to why they are entering the Global Ocean Race, veteran Round the World sailor Ross Field said 'Because it is a refreshing and innovative event that offers more to the ocean racer than any other circumnavigation race that exists today, a proper route, in a very strong class of yacht.'
Ross Field is no stranger to round the world yacht races, having logged five circumnavigations, three consecutive Whitbread Round the World Race entries, and raced in the 2001/02 Volvo Ocean Race as co-skipper onboard News Corporation. To compliment his passion for circumnavigation, Ross has also raced in nearly all the major international offshore event including the Sydney-Hobart Race and the Fastnet Race. He held the Fastnet record for nine years, of five hours and eight minutes set in the 1999 Race on his on the 80-foot Maxi One Design, RF Yachting. The Global Ocean Race is next in line and Ross views it as 'excellent, it will certainly encourage the class to grow, it’s affordable and is certainly tailored to those who are passionate about yachting and want to be competitive.'
Ross’ son Campbell, certainly proved his sailing genes early on, he raced in the 1997/98 edition of the Whitbread Round the World Race on America’s Challenge. This was followed by the 2005/06 Volvo Ocean Race as Technical Manager for the Spanish Movistar team, and the 2008/09 edition, as shore manager for Telefonica.
However, compared to their endless list of experience in yacht racing, sailing together as father and son presents a new challenge for the duo, as Campbell commented: 'The longest we’ve been on a boat together is 56 days on America’s Challenge for the first leg of the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race, and this is the first time we’ve ever done double handed sailing, apart from a couple of training sessions.'
For Ross, the dynamic and roles onboard are clear. 'How I see it, is Campbell is very good electronically and navigationally and I’m completely hopeless, so Campbell will do that side of racing, and I’ll concentrate more on sailing the boat fast. Our plan of attack will be a mutual decision, certainly not a dictatorship, not yet anyway!'
The pair have been in preparation for the Global Ocean Race for 12 months, with the 2011 Fastnet Race forming a key part of that training which provided their first real test on BSL, ensuring boat speed, their sails, equipment and most importantly their team work were up to scratch. The team finished an impressive seventh position in an extremely competitive Class40 fleet, only 40 minutes behind the leading boat.
The first leg of the 33,000-mile Race kicked off at 1300 BST today, 25th September, and will take the 6 boat fleet from Palma in Menorca to Cape Town, South Africa, with an estimated race time of seven weeks. Both Ross and Campbell are looking forward to getting underway, as Campbell concluded, 'I am just really looking forward to the challenge ahead, both sporting and personal. It is a unique opportunity to sail this course, on these boats, with my father.' With all boat preparations sorted a week ago, they have been patiently playing the waiting game. BSL will certainly be a Class40 to watch in the 2011-2012 Global Ocean Race.
You can follow Ross and Campbell progress during the race through their exclusive raceblogs at www.facebook.com/BSLClass40
Ross and Campbell are supported by BSL, a world leader in precision electromagnet manufactoring. http://www.buckleysystems.com/
. Follow their progress at www.fieldyachting.com
or sign up for the latest updates at their Facebook page, here