We have several early goals for 2020 that will enable our project to stay on track. Foremost is closing potential corporate sponsorships and achieving fund-raising goals. This is so important at the early phase of the project because though Phil has an offshore compatible boat, this boat will not be capable of the circumnavigation. Thus, we intend to purchase a used offshore boat for the voyage. Of note, all assets of the program will be sold at the end of the voyage and 100% of those proceeds will go through to our two partners. In effect, this means that every dollar is able to be spent twice: first to support the voyage and to inspire people with epilepsy, then second, with the sale of assets, the same funds will go to partners for their use in supporting our mission.
Francis, Roy and Phil are actively researching a boat to purchase for the voyage. There are two general types of boat we are looking at: either a catamaran or a blue water monohull. There are strengths and weaknesses to each. The catamarans we are looking at are blue water catamarans designed for fast offshore sailing. An advantage is the speed which allows the opportunity, when combined with weather updates via satellite communications, to outrun oncoming storms. The downside is the cost and whether we can raise the funds to purchase this type of vessel. This will depend on our success with sponsors and donors. There are less expensive monohulls that are ready for blue water sailing. These are rugged, ready to go and significantly less expensive BUT much slower. This results in more challenging weather routing and navigation strategies. Hopefully by Q2 of 2020 we will have answers to these questions.
Roy and Phil are also working together to finalize the voyage course and we will announce this soon.
Sail For Epilepsy will be working with the Epilepsy Foundation of New England at several events this year. First, we will be at the 2020 Boston Walk for Epilepsy on May 16th in Boston Common. Come join us! Second, we will bring our sailboats to the Epilepsy Foundation of New England summer sailing camps in Portland, ME and Newport, RI. Third, we will be present at a special event in November. Stay tuned as we will be making more announcements with details in the coming months.
During 2020 we will also be involved in action packed racing adventures. The first major race is the Newport Bermuda Race, which as the name indicates, is from Newport to Bermuda. This is ranked in the top 5 of races world wide. It has several challenges, not the least of which is the need to cross the gulf stream, a gnarly experience at the best of times. Phil will race with Mike DiMella in the double-handed class.