Spice Race to Focus on Women to Attract Sponsors.

The Spice Race, a proposed new event on the Class 40 Calendar has been postponed until November 2009. The 4321 mile race from the Solent to St Georges, Grenada, has not managed to attract enough or the right competitors in the short time between announcement and proposed start.

Spice Race promoter Tony Lawson said curiously “Whereas we had enough boats for an inaugural race we did not think there were sufficient entries to support the associated social, educational and charity programmes we had wanted for here and Grenada.”

Global economic conditions is one of the reasons given for why 10 to 15 boats could not be found to take part. The increasing cost of transporting boats also contributed.

The proposed 2009 race will have different aims. The event will be open to all Class 40 races and IRC yachts, however promoters will “focus” on national teams crewed by women.

The belief is that a focus on gender diversity within offshore sailing will make a better story and differentiate the race’s offer to potential sponsors.

The organisers will be contacting national yachting organisations as well as leading women sailors with a view to establishing teams.