Aged 29, Charlie Enright recently married, lives in Rhode Island. Mark Towill is 26, a kid from Kaneohe, Hawaii. They attended university together. Both are friendly and easy-going - they could be your next-door neighbors. Except, these guys are going to race around the world in the next Volvo Ocean Race. That’s something your neighbor will not be doing – and these two have dreamt about it and worked to make it happen for a long time.
“We were part of the Morning Light project with Walt Disney in 2006,” said Enright. “I met Mark during the trials for that – we both considered that project to be the beginning of our ocean sailing dream, which is the Volvo Ocean Race.”
The reality film “Morning Light” followed a group of young sailors on their cross-Pacific boat voyage on an old TP52. Inspired by their Volvo mentors, the two friends then went on to set up their own company, All-American Ocean Racing. To build their Volvo Ocean Race profile, they sailed transatlantic and Fastnet races as an all under-30 American syndicate.
Their dream began to take shape when the race CEO Knut Frostad invited the pair to Alicante for the start of the last edition in October 2011. “It’s not been easy by any means despite the great start we had with the Disney movie,” said Towill. “We’ve spent long hours treading the sidewalks trying to get a break and it’s been all about making our own opportunities. We’ve also had a lot of help from many, many people making this become a reality.”
After dropping most other commitments in the search for a title sponsor, Enright and Towill finally found an innovative medical devices company from Turkey – ALVIMEDICA – to back up their project. This ambitious young company is the perfect match for a team that aims to have a crew mostly drawn from a pool of sailors under 30.
Now that the entry is officially announced, it’s time to start building a team and to launch their Volvo Ocean 65. Together with their greatly experienced CEO Bill Erkelens (who recently raced J/70s in the Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco), they need to recruit a crew and start training.
A seven-year dream is coming true for American sailors; it’s exciting news for the USA sailing community which will carefully follow the American Team, who also will be the only "under 30" team in the ocean marathon.
Sail Newport, supported by Fidelity Investments, will have a presentation to be held on Thursday, February 13 at 5:30 p.m. to debut the team's plans to prepare for the grueling "Mount Everest of sailing" ocean race which will circumnavigate the globe. The event takes place at the Jane Pickens Theater on Washington Square, Newport, RI. Tickets can be purchased online at sailnewport.org. You can also contact- email@example.com
The event will feature dynamic on-screen footage of the race, information on the team, the boats, the stopovers and how the Newport community can plan a homecoming for the predominantly American team.
Team ALVIMEDICA will be joining Team SCA (with fellow American Sally Barkow onboard- also a J/22 & J24 sailor), Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel in the race which will be contested over 38,739 nautical miles and nine months. The race starts in October in Alicante, Spain and finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden in June of 2015. The only North American stop over will take place May 5-17, 2015. The boats will arrive in Newport from a stopover in Itajai, Brazil and will depart Newport on May 17, 2015 for the Transatlantic race leg to Lisbon, Portugal. For more Volvo Ocean Race sailing information.