Phil Sharp sails The Transat

It was essentially a chance encounter that brought yachtsman Phil Sharp and Bruichladdich together, but we were intrigued and excited by his proposal last December.  Phil’s ambition is to race the mighty Vendee Globe, a single-handed yacht race that involves a non-stop circumnavigation of the world.   This is a significant undertaking that will require years of planning and lots of hard cash. 

Being a mainline sponsor for such an undertaking is way out of our league, but that kind of mad ambition truly floats our boat – and we have agreed to do what we can to help – by giving  a hand with communications. And providing some suitably celebratory liquid. Of course!

The first event we tried together was the #LengthofBritain where Phil teamed up with boat owner Alex Alley and adventurer Sean Conway to set a benchmark for a new record – sailing from Land’s End to John O’Groats.  In December.  Mad.  Nobody does that kind of thing in December, but these guys did it in a yacht that is frankly little more than an overblown dinghy (with facilities to match). We loved it – and thousands tuned in to follow progress on the tracker and via social and traditional media.

So, when Phil realised that competing in the Vendee was going to have to wait until 2020 (his boat fell through for the 2016 race), we have stepped in again to help as he starts his preparations – by competing in the 2016 Class 40 World Championship in his boat 'IMERYS'.  Imerys S.A.  is a French company (founded in 1880, the year before Bruichladdich was built!) which specialises in the production and processing of industrial minerals.  Imerys are Phil's headline sponsor...

The first race in his campaign is ‘The Transat’, the legendary solo race across the Atlantic that will depart today, Monday 2nd May from Plymouth – destination New York.  Three classes of yacht compete, the Class 40s, the Imoca 60s (these are the Vendee Globe boats) and then the ‘Ulltimes’ which are giant multihulls.  These last boats are an extraordinary sight.  Three of them have entered The Transat for the first time.

We hope to be bringing you regular updates from Phil as he faces down the North Atlantic in what is certain to be an absolute white knuckle ride.  The first depression is scheduled to hit them two days out.  Phil is hoping to make the crossing in around 18 days.  He is unlikely to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time at any point in the race…

So let's all use the hashtag #whiteknuckleride to follow this on social media.  The phrase is part of our history. It sums up the Laddie story up rather well.

Check out the videos from past races – and watch our Twitter feed.  Also check out the race tracker on this page where you can follow all of the yachts individually - and see how Phil is doing...

 

 

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