British skipper enjoying heavy weather passage to New Zealand

British skipper enjoying heavy weather passage to New ZealandAS the VELUX 5 OCEANS fleet continue to punch their way through the snarling Southern Ocean, the worlds most notorious body of water has been making life difficult for the skippers bombarding them with crashing swells and gale force winds.

For many sailors the thought of taking on the mighty Southern Ocean at all is enough to send shivers down their spines, let alone facing it singlehanded. But speaking to the VELUX 5 OCEANS team this morning British solo skipper Chris Stanmore-Major explained that he revels in the heavy weather conditions currently battering the fleet around 700 nautical miles south of Australia.

Despite being hit by a 45-knot gale which knocked flat his Eco 60 yacht Spartan the 33-year-old said he actually looks forward to the high-speed, high risk sailing thrown at him by the Southern Ocean. Although it is his first outing around the world solo, CSM saw similar weather conditions when he skippered a yacht in the Clipper Round the World race last year.

Getting knocked down was just one of those things, CSM said. In one of these boats is not that unusual. Its more dramatic to watch than it is actually onboard. There was no damage and Im absolutely fine. I actually like the heavy weather, Im not fazed by it. I dont mind the motion of the boat either. I feel very respectful of whats possible in the ocean but I am very conservative when it comes to heavy weather and I am looking forward to the next blow.

It was only March of last year I was skippering a boat through a hurricane and we had 70 knots, so its sort of horses for courses. Im very respectful of the weather and what it can do to the boat, but please, 45 knots? The Southern Ocean is going to have to try a bit harder than that!

CSM was today more than 1,000 nautical miles behind race leader Brad Van Liew, with around 3,000 nautical miles left to sail to the finish line in Wellington. In this leg I am disappointed with my position after I made a mistake early on but I have been trying to push my boat harder and just do my thing, he added. I do enjoy this kind of environment, its the reason I decided to do the race in the first place. Im not going to hide it Im having fun.

Ocean sprint two positions at 06h00 UTC:

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 2222.9/ 0 / 274.4 / 11.4

Derek Hatfield, Active House: 2550.2/ 327.3 / 230.3/ 9.6

Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 2568.2/ 345.3 / 232.8/ 9.7

Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 3259.3/ 1036.4/ 238.8 / 9.9

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/velux5oceans

Follow us on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/Velux5Oceans

Watch us on Youtube www.youtube.com/velux5oceans2010

Follow the Race Blog at http://blog.velux5oceans.com



Rights-free race images, video and audio available to download in high-resolution:


For broadcast-standard video please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/Velux

If you are a first-time user, please take a moment to register. In case you have any questions, please email journalisthelp@thenewsmarket.com

For interview requests and further information on the VELUX 5 OCEANS, please contact Sarah Hames, Race Press Officer:

T: + 44 7813 009 783

E: shames@velux5oceans.com

W: www.velux5oceans.com


VELUX 5 OCEANS The Ultimate Solo Challenge

The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the Ultimate Solo Challenge, the ultimate human endeavour. More than 500 people have been into space less than 180 have sailed round the world solo. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon 30,000-nautical mile circumnavigation. The race, run every four years since 1982, has a rich heritage which has given rise to some of the world's best sailors. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is not only the longest round the world yacht race but at nearly 30 years old is also the longest running. Always at the forefront of ocean racing innovation, the 2010/11 VELUX 5 OCEANS will see the premiere of the Eco 60 class of yachts, pushing a message of sustainability, accessibility and affordability.


About the VELUX Group

The VELUX Group holds the title sponsorship of VELUX 5 OCEANS for the second time. The spirit, values and nature of the race and its skippers are similar to those of the VELUX Group. As a manufacturer of roof windows, the VELUX Group employs creativity and an innovative approach to the development of new products and business strategies. In its mission to create better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof the Group has earned the reputation of being one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector. The VELUX Group has manufacturing companies in 11 countries and sales companies in just under 40 countries, it has about 10,000 employees and is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family.


Clipper Ventures Plc

This year marks 41 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's historic solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1969. Now, as Chairman of Clipper Ventures PLC, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Clipper Ventures, the marine sports company founded in 1995, is focused on developing and promoting major events capable of attracting significant participation, income, media coverage and associated sponsorship revenue. Knox-Johnston founded Clipper Ventures on the belief that sailing should be made available to everyone and therefore created the Clipper Round the World Race, with 2,000 people having now completed one of the seven races to date.


Race Partners and Suppliers

Transportation Partner, Maersk Line: www.maerskline.com

Start/Finish Port, La Rochelle (France): www.ville-larochelle.fr / www.agglo-larochelle.fr

Host Ports: Cape Town, Wellington, Punta del Este, Charleston

Technical Clothing Supplier: www.henrilloyd.com

Navigation/Routing Supplier: www.maxsea.com

Research Partner, Portsmouth University: www.port.ac.uk

Sustainability Partner, Sailors for the Sea: www.sailorsforthesea.org

Marine Forecast Supplier: http://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/

Official Timekeeper: www.nauticawatches.com

Electronic Chart Supplier: www.jeppesen.com/lightmarine