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BP Explorer heads in to Wellington

BP Explorer heads in to Wellington

After a long six weeks on the high seas, the volunteer crew of BP Explorer is due to arrive in Wellington Harbour, in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

BP Explorer is one of 12 identical 72 foot racing yachts competing in the Global Challenge – dubbed ‘the world’s toughest yacht race’.

Each boat will sail 32,000 miles around the world - against the prevailing winds and currents – and, with the exception of the skipper, with a volunteer crew.

With the rest of the fleet, BP Explorer set sail on the second leg of the race from Buenos Aires to Wellington on 28 November. The race began with the yachts leaving Portsmouth in the UK on 3 October. The fleet is due back in Portsmouth around 17 July 2005.

BP Managing Director, Peter Griffiths, said staff, supporters, family and friends would be at the Queen’s Wharf berth tomorrow to welcome Explorer and her crew.

“This is an incredibly tough race and to have made the 6,100 miles from Buenos Aires is a fantastic achievement, especially given that none of the crew have ever done anything like this before.

“We are looking forward to welcoming them, feeding them and getting them to their hotels for some much-needed sleep,” he said.

Mr Griffiths said BP had decided to sponsor a yacht in the Global Challenge as an opportunity to highlight how otherwise ordinary people can achieve fantastic things and to support the race charity, Save The Children.

“BP is also using this race to draw attention to the need to protect our marine environment.”

The Explorer crew plan on touring New Zealand for the next month before seeing off the next crew on the third, 1,200 mile leg to Sydney starting February 6th.

When the fleet leaves Wellington there is a gruelling 17,000 miles to cover and five more ports to visit before the end of the race

© Scoop Media

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