Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Le Pingouin

Allow me to introduce Le Pingouin. This name is actually not new to the boat. Back in 1998 when the boat was built in France Catherine Chabaud registered the boat with officials as Le Pingouin, although her sponsor Whirlpool took the large share of branding. Although the boat changed hands several times and donned the graphics of many corporate sponsors, it has always been technically registered as Le Pingouin. Having circled the globe three times already, I think she has a rich heritage in the world of ocean racing.

Despite an enormous amount of time and effort in seeking a Title/Naming Sponsor for the upcoming race, we have not secured a company wishing to brand the 10,000 square feet of space available on the sails and hull and enjoy the vast media and hospitality perks. So without an all-American brand or global company involved, we went back to the roots of the boat, just as I have gone back to my roots of ocean racing after years of land-based activities. We hope the graphics, designed by cre843, showcase the potential for creative branding onboard. When we land a Title/Naming Sponsor, the name of the boat and lion’s share of graphics will be changed to reflect the graphic choices of the sponsor.

So what about that penguin? Meg thinks he looks angry. I say he is determined. The prospect of sailing 30,000 miles alone in some of the roughest ocean terrain is intimidating, and I think you need a certain amount of tension to face the challenges. A perky, happy penguin image would not be right for the race. I expressed my emotions about the race and preparations for the event with Brian Zimmerman of cre843, a design firm based in Charleston. He developed the friendly but fierce penguin and the design of the hull, deck and sails.

You might see our tagline in some of the photos which states “FULL NOISE OR NO NOISE.” It takes extreme measures to get a boat race-ready with a small team and limited funding. We are either pushing really hard or chilling out. We do it right or we don’t do it at all. Offshore, this translates into an attitude of determination and using every ounce of physical and mental energy I have to compete well and be the first American to officially complete three solo races around the world.

We will get more great photos as the branding is complete and we roll Le Pingouin out of the shed. Thanks to all the individuals and companies that have been supportive of our efforts thus far, including B&G, Simrad, Gill, Samson, Awlgrip, Harken, High and Dry Boatworks, Alpine Aire, Detyens, CMMC Machine, Charleston Rigging, and many others. Thanks for checking in!


Photos below by Tim Eble:

My son Wyatt checking out the boat - Photo by Meaghan

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Come Visit Us This Thursday

Hi All,

Many local businesses have been supportive of the Lazarus Project and getting us (almost) through the refit and race-ready. West Marine has been a great help and will host a casual reception this Thursday evening starting at 6:30pm at their West Ashley location. I'll show some video from the last race and also provide a personal update on the current project with photos of our progress. Come down for a visit and check it out before we launch the boat in August and take off for the start of the Velux 5 Oceans in France on October 17. The race will not visit Charleston until April/May 2011, so it should be fun to get together now and tell you more about the upcoming race and the fleet to expect next year. Food and beverages will be served courtesy of West Marine.

West Marine in West Ashley
Thursday July 15, at 6:30pm
975 Savannah Hwy. (by the Coburg Cow)

If you have any questions, feel free to call West Marine at 843.573.0123

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Refit Continues at Full Throttle

We are slammed at the shop right now trying to wrap up all the work on the boat while she is off the keel.  We are starting to make real headway on putting the boat back together at this point.  I am fully absorbed in the wiring and installation of the new B&G system at the moment, while others are working on a complete new deck layout.  I wish we were rolling out of the shed now but it will probably be the 1st of August at this point.  The work also continues with having to re-fair the keel. A pretty serious survey required taking the fairing off the keel to conduct the necessary ultrasound, flex test, and die penetration testing. The really great news is that the boat will be fantastic and I feel very confident in the work Jeffrey and all the boys have put in.

Outside of the boatyard, the last two weeks have been busy with media commitments. A videography crew from England came in for three days to capture all the pre-race preparations and the lifestyle of getting ready for the big race. Charleston Magazine also sent over a photographer for a feature coming out in their August issue. It is quite a balancing act with the hard core work at the yard, sponsorship talks and making sure we keep the story rolling out for all to see. The start is just three months away, so it feels like there is still a lot to accomplish. Thanks to my shore support team, volunteers and supporting sponsors for all the hard work that is going into this endeavor!

Thanks for checking in. I will keep news posted as we make progress.