Star sailors and over 50 boats depart Cascais as Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy begins
The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy has begun in light wind conditions, as competitors across three classes race two legs between Cascais and Sesimbra hoping to take home the prize pool of over €30,000. The event is being held to raise awareness and important funds for marine conservation programmes.
Organised in partnership with the Clube Naval de Cascais, the Sailing Trophy is the first event of its kind, as the offshore racing world takes its first steps back into the water, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Three classes were represented as the boats crossed the start line, NHC, Classic and ORC with some of the world’s fastest offshore racing boats present including two VO65s, raced by some of the biggest names in professional sailing.
The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team’s ‘Racing for the Planet’ is crewed by a star lineup of racers for the team’s first race. Skipper Yoann Richomme’s crew has an accumulated 12 Volvo Ocean Race campaigns between them and includes winners Charles Caudrelier and Jack Bouttell. They face off this weekend against fellow VO65 entry, The Austrian Ocean Race Project, led by skipper Gerwin Jansen.
A prize pool of over €30,000 includes a top prize of €16,000 for first position. The winner will also be awarded the official event trophy.
Dr. Paulo Mirpuri, Founder of the Mirpuri Foundation said: “The sight of two VO65s leading a fleet of over 50 boats, racing off the coast of Portugal is one that makes me immensely proud. We have welcomed a field of incredible world-class sailors and have two days of spectacular racing in good conditions ahead of us. In these times of uncertainty as the world begins its recovery from the threat of Covid-19, we are delighted to be returning to sailing, with the help of our medical team, in the beautiful oceans that we are working hard to protect.”
“It is our aim to make the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy one of the premier annual racing events in the world. We are proud to work with our partners at the Clube Naval de Cascais to compete safely and to continue to bring people together in the spirit of friendly competition, to highlight the ever-present need to protect our fragile ocean habitats.”
The Mirpuri Foundation has a legacy in competitive sailing as a global platform to share important messages of marine conservation and encourage positive change to better impact the planet. Through the ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ campaign in the 2017-18 edition of The Volvo Ocean Race, the Mirpuri Foundation was part of a global movement against plastic pollution, and in the next edition, the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team will focus on raising awareness and driving action on climate change, as the team boat carries the message ‘Racing for the Planet’ around the world.
Information regarding the event and the Notice of Race can be found at https://mirpurifoundation.org/mfst