It's been two weeks since two-time The Ocean Race veterans Mark Towill and Charlie Enright announced the launch of their new campaign, 11th Hour Racing Team – and they're not wasting any time.
The pair, who have acquired the former Hugo Boss IMOCA 60 raced by Alex Thomson in the last Vendée Globe, have been working hard in France to prepare the boat for the Transat Jacques Vabre at the end of October – and already have their sights set on the next edition of The Ocean Race.
Mark was recently in Alicante at Race HQ to join the registered teams meeting, previewing the 2021-22 Race and will attend The Ocean Race Summit in Genoa, Italy on Friday 20 September – while Charlie has been soaking up French sailing culture, working closely with TJV co-skipper and The Ocean Race winner Pascal Bidégorry, and announcing a strategic partnership with a French marine company founded by François Gabart.
“We are in full preparation mode for the start of the 2019 TJV and can’t wait to arrive in Le Havre on October 18 to take in the atmosphere and get in that racing mindset,” said Charlie, who, alongside French sailing champion Bidégorry will make his first TJV appearance. The pair will also compete in the Azimut Challenge (Le Défi Azimut) on September 18-23.
"Since the end of the last edition, we've been working really hard on putting ourselves in a position to get back into the next Ocean Race," explained Mark.
"We're training on our IMOCA 60, learning about how these boats work, and trying to maximise that opportunity."
He added: "We're also building out our sustainability programme, which is at the core of our entire team. We do all sorts of things like track our waste, water, energy consumption – and some simple things like we don't use single-use plastics and we don't eat meat on Mondays. To have the opportunity to present and be a part of the Ocean Race Summits is a real priority for our team, it's something I'm really looking forward to."