Sailor Emma Richards Prepares for the Around Alone Race
Pindar, the British-based international printing and electronic media company, has sponsored the only British entry in the prestigious round-the-world yacht race Around Alone. Emma Richards, 27, is the youngest competitor, and the only female entry, in the tough 28,000 mile yachting marathon that starts in New York on 15th September 2002.
Richards will take part in the single-handed race on a 60-foot monohull yacht similar to that used by Ellen MacArthur in the Vendee Globe last year. MacArthur, who is sponsored by Kingfisher, captivated the nation with her heroic performance, and Richards and Pindar will be aiming to replicate her rivals' success.
She has a tough task ahead of her as she will face a field of the world's best solo sailors in one of the most mentally and physically demanding sporting events in the world. Spread over five legs and seven months, Around Alone is the longest race for any individual in any sport. It is also one of the most high-profile events in world sailing. The last running of the race in 1998 - 99 generated some 500 hours of TV coverage and 6,000 press articles around the world.
Formerly a member of the Scottish National Olympic training squads and a Glasgow University graduate, Emma broke into international sailing when she was selected as a member of Tracy Edwards' all-girl crew for the Jules Verne Trophy in 1998. At age of 23, she was the youngest crew-member aboard Royal Sun Alliance.
Emma launched her professional sailing career as a skipper in 1999 when she secured sponsorship from Pindar, a British print and electronic media company. Since then, she has won her class in three of ocean racing's most prestigious races.
Teaming up with fellow Brit, Miranda Merron, she won the Open 50 class of the Transat Jacques Vabres in 1999 (Le Havre, France to Cartagena, Colombia). They also won the RORC Round Britain and Ireland Race in 2000, when they broke the all-female speed record. In single-handed competition, Emma secured victory in the Open 50 class in last year's Europe 1 New Man Star (Plymouth to Rhode Island, USA).
Still in Pindar's colours, Emma took the step-up to multi-hull sailing last year. Having spent the summer crewing for Magnus Olsen in Scandinavia, Emma teamed up with Miki Von Koskull to co-skipper a 60-foot trimaran in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre, from Le Havre to Brazil. Despite competing in a second-generation boat, Emma acquitted herself admirably to finish in 9th place.
For up to date race information, check out www.aroundalone.com