The second sprint of VELUX 5 OCEANS

Title sponsor acknowledges skippers' determination as they take on the tough second sprint of VELUX 5 OCEANS.

VELUX 5 OCEANS sponsor fully backs race management's decision of postponing restart. Safety of the skippers and their boats is a key element for the title sponsor, especially as the fleet is off to race the notoriously dangerous Southern Ocean.

7,000 nautical miles of cold and dark weather, with waves as high as a five-storey building: the second sprint of VELUX 5 OCEANS is probably the most demanding part of the skippers' route around the world. The Southern Ocean is known to be scary with icebergs suddenly appearing and the need for constant risk management by the skippers. Hence, the skippers' safety precautions and determination are crucial for a successful development.

"We have followed the skippers' preparations in Cape Town for the second ocean sprint closely and we are amazed by their attention to detail and their constant efforts to optimise the condition of the boats. We acknowledge that continuous effort to make improvements to strengthen their chances of reaching their goals," says project director Anne-Marie Hassel-balch of the VELUX Group.

The VELUX Group lives by the motto that "One experiment is better that 1000 expert views". On a daily basis it means that the Group - in order to provide daylight and fresh air through the roof – goes an extra mile to strengthen its position in the marketplace. Besides producing roof windows and related products, the VELUX Group is a frontrunner in developing new solutions for future carbon-neutral buildings with a healthy indoor climate and high energy efficiency.

We do not rely on desk solutions, we develop real-life solutions; that is also why we are building six experimental buildings in Europe to test the design of future buildings in real scale," says Anne-Marie Hasselbalch.

First sprint was not as easy as predicted
The first sprint of the race from La Rochelle in France to Cape Town in South Africa turned out to be a great adventure for all five skippers. But also a challenging one, mentally and physically.

Although the first sprint was supposed to be 'easy', sails were ripped and lost into the sea. Boats took in water, electrical equipment caused huge problems. On top of that some skippers had a hard time finding motivation to go on because they missed their families and everybody suffered from lack of sleep. Still, all five skippers got to Cape Town safely.,br>
"Following the skippers over the last couple of months, we have learned that no matter how thoroughly preparations are and no matter how experienced you are, there is always the element of the unpredictable. For the skippers the weather is undoubtedly the most tricky part of this solo circumnavigation," says Anne-Marie Hasselbalch.

Everybody in the fleet knows that although the first sprint was difficult, they are up for an even bigger challenge on their way to Wellington, New Zealand. However, with the delay of the race restart, all skippers have had an extra chance to prepare for the second leg of VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11.

About the VELUX Group
The VELUX Group holds the title sponsorship of VELUX 5 OCEANS for the second time. The spirit, values and nature of the race and its skippers are similar to those of the VELUX Group. As a manufacturer of roof windows, the VELUX Group employs creativity and an in-novative approach to the development of new products and business strategies. In its mis-sion to create better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof the Group has earned the reputation of being one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector. The VELUX Group has manufacturing companies in 11 countries and sales companies in just under 40 countries, it has about 10,000 employees and is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family. For more details, visit