11th Hour Racing Team names boats as a tribute to ocean health
Today, 11th Hour Racing Team officially named their two 60-foot round the world offshore race boats in Concarneau, France. Drawing on the Hawaiian heritage of team CEO, Mark Towill, the brand new IMOCA 60, previously nicknamed '11.2' was named Mālama - to care for - and the team's second boat, known as '11.1' was named Alaka'i - leadership. Both boats will carry the Team's message focusing on the urgent need to restore the health of our ocean, aligning with the mission of title sponsor 11th Hour Racing.
The naming ceremony was conducted by philanthropist and 11th Hour Racing's co-founder Wendy Schmidt, alongside 11th Hour Racing's co-founders Jeremy Pochman and Rob MacMillan. The event was the culmination of more than two years worth of work since the team was formed in June 2019 with the goal of raising awareness about ocean health.
Towill commented: "I am incredibly proud that the team has chosen to give our two boats names that derive from my Hawaiian heritage. 'Mālama honua' is a phrase that is often used back home - it means to care for and protect our world, something as a team, and as individuals, we are all passionate about.
"When we first started discussing this campaign with 11th Hour Racing, we shared our vision of what it could achieve both from a sporting perspective and aspirationally - to drive real change within the marine industry. We look to serve the boat names well as we move into the next phase - the build up to The Ocean Race 2022-23."
The new 11th Hour Racing Team boat - Mālama - is the first in a new generation of IMOCA 60s, uniquely designed for round the world, crewed offshore racing. Typically, IMOCA 60s have been designed for the pinnacle of solo sailing, the Vendée Globe, while Mālama has been optimized for up to five sailors onboard.
Speaking to the invited group of guests, including the full sailing and shore team, the boat's designers - Guillaume Verdier Studio, boat builder - CDK Technologies, and performance partner - MerConcept, as well as family and friends, Towill thanked all of those in attendance: "Today is an important day for each and every one of us here. From the initial conversations with 11th Hour Racing back in 2019 when Charlie and I planted the seeds of an idea, right through to the planning, design and build of the boat that we see here today, the process has involved every team member. Everyone's hands are on this boat, even if they haven't physically built it themselves. You should all be very proud of the part you have played."
The striking design of the new boat's livery was devised by 11th Hour Racing, working with two designers:
The Italian Van Orton twins, Stefano and Marco Schiavon, who interpreted the campaign theme of 'What's Under The Surface Connects Us All' through their signature style they define as 'Gothic-pop'.
French yacht design specialist Jean-Baptiste Epron, who brought in decades of technical knowledge on how to apply a design to the complex angles of a race boat.
The stunning livery was showcased in a series of imagery released by the team to celebrate the occasion.
11th Hour Racing co-founder Wendy Schmidt emphasized the importance of understanding our ocean and nurturing our passion for it: "All living systems are connected by the ocean, and most of the life on our planet lives in the deep ocean, which has barely been explored. Every time we dive in an expedition around the world with Schmidt Ocean Institute's ROV [remotely operated vehicle] Subastian, we find out something new we didn't know before, we see something we've never seen - whether it's a new species, or some new ocean microbe from the deep that has the power to address some of the greatest ills of mankind. My point to you today is that we are in our infancy of understanding the ocean. We have the responsibility, the obligation, and the pleasure of working together to restore ocean health, to carry this message around the world, and to protect this most precious planetary resource that we share together."
Skipper Charlie Enright was emphatic in his praise for the build partners. "I'd particularly like to thank our designer, Guillaume Verdier and his studio. A thoughtful and creatively intelligent group, they're never afraid to keep pushing the boundaries of what's possible, and what we see in front of us today is a great example of that! Our build partners, CDK Technologies, have had an incredible challenge with construction stops and starts due to the global pandemic: you rose to the occasion and we are proud and excited about sailing Mālama this fall and beyond.
"Finally, our partners at MerConcept, it's been great to collaborate and grow together with you, and push our performance on both Mālama and Alaka'i. We look forward to continuing our relationship going forward."
Both boats, 11th Hour Racing - Alaka'i, and 11th Hour Racing - Mālama. will be taking part in The Défi Azimut race in Lorient, France from Wednesday 15 - Sunday 19 September 2021.