Bouwe Bekking, an eight-time veteran of The Ocean Race, has announced a new project with an eye on competing in the 2021-22 edition of the Race.
Under the leadership of Bekking, Pelle Norberg and Gideon Messink, a new Swedish-flagged campaign in the VO65 class will begin activities during the fall of 2019.
The sponsors of the project have decided to donate the name to the World Childhood Foundation and to name the boat to Childhood I. With this decision, Childhood is given new opportunities to reach out with its global work to protect children from violence and abuse.
The VO65 racing yacht Childhood I will compete across the Atlantic, participate in regattas in the Caribbean and in the 2020 edition of the Round Gotland Race in Sweden.
In addition to Pelle, Bouwe and Gideon, the team behind the initiative includes some of the world's leading yachtsmen and project managers, including Roger Nilson, who has participated in many global projects, including The Ocean Race.
“We are proud to sail under the Swedish flag with Childhood in the sails,” said Norberg, the former CEO of Team SEB in the Volvo Ocean Race. “Our objective is to create the opportunity for a start in The Ocean Race 2021 and we see this collaboration between our sponsors and Childhood as an important first step towards that goal.”
Childhood has signed a one-year agreement on the naming rights with the project.
“Our visibility in the project creates a great opportunity for us to reach even wider with our work,” said Paula Guillet de Monthoux, secretary general of the World Childhood Foundation and responsible for the global development of the foundation's operations.
“Through Childhood I we get a platform where we can create commitment and income to our foundations in a whole new context. We are getting new channels to reach even more people and decision-makers.”