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22-09-2009

Which race to choose?

Over the years I have developed all sorts of sailing projects, from plans for ocean racing to Caribbean cruising. And boy has it been tough! In Portugal I found it hard to get into sailing because it was expensive and rather elitist. I was not from the “right” background or had the necessary financial means.

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Over the years I have developed all sorts of sailing projects, from plans for ocean racing to Caribbean cruising. And boy has it been tough! In Portugal I found it hard to get into sailing because it was expensive and rather elitist. I was not from the “right” background or had the necessary financial means. I was from a fishing village for goodness sake! As I aspired to one day get into offshore sailing in exciting boats, I inevitably found my first stepping stone in the Mini Transat Class, those exciting little 21ft rockets that blast across oceans. But as I launched my Owen Clarke designed boat in Lisbon in 2001, I couldn’t help wonder why it couldn’t be a bit bigger so that I could sail it around the world and not just across the Atlantic. The next step up was so far away, so huge, so expensive – The Open 50 or Open 60 classes. It had taken me 5 years just to get the Mini. How long would it take to get something bigger?? I was not feeling very confident…

The sailing world adapted to this as there were more sailors like me out there than fully funded sailing rock stars. So the Open 40 class was created and enjoyed reasonable success. But even these boats, with their carbon hulls and innovative swing keels were tough on budgets. Then it all changed with the Class40. Imagine everything you ever wanted in a boat; stability, size, power, speed, comfort and… low cost! In little over three years the Class40 has expanded to being the world’s fastest growing Ocean Racing class with over 90 boats from 18 nations. With a rich calendar of events and races there is something for everyone. Well, nearly. Back in 2005 there were lots of races, but none sailed around the world.

I am very passionate about Portugal and since 2000 I have tried hard to bring big events to my country. I was therefore very proud to have been so intimately involved with the first edition of the world’s first Class40 round-the-world race, that departed from Portimão, Portugal in October 2008. As soon as I heard about a new, low cost race being developed I tried to attract it to Portugal and did so with hard work and results. My marketing company was honored to have designed the logo, website and secured the funding for the event. Portugal now had a global event that could promote my country via the oceans and the Class40’s had an around the world race in their circuit! Perfect. Following on from our past experience, the Portugal Ocean Race is a whole new level of event. We are creating a world class race that will be a jewel in any Class40 sailor’s crown. We understand the hardships of a campaign and getting things off the ground. We understand doubts, fears and challenges. Most of all, we understand dreams and we want to help you live your global sailing dream with the Portugal Ocean Race. You’ll love it here and you will quickly understand why we feel Portugal is the best place to start an around the world race for Class 40’s.

You will find many races out there. Some are quick, coastal events, others are full-on ocean sprints across the Atlantic Ocean. You will even find round the cans racing. The Class 40 has a race and an event for everyone. But when you feel you are ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you. And we’ll do everything in our power to help you make it to the start line of the Portugal Ocean Race. The World’s Best.

See you soon!

Ricardo Diniz

PARTNERS
Presidência da República Algarve Portimão