Alex Thomson backs new Canada Ocean Racing sailing campaign

Scott Shawyer onboard his new IMOCA Open60 race yacht ‘ Canada Ocean Racing’. Pictured here training on the teams first run offshore with mentor Alex Thomson

Canadian businessman Scott Shawyer has launched Canada Ocean Racing, a new offshore sailing team. Shawyer will compete in the solo, non-stop round-the-world race, the Vendée Globe, aiming to become the first Canadian to complete the pinnacle event in offshore sailing.

Backed by renowned British sailor Alex Thomson, Shawyer’s campaign says it aims to lead and inspire the development of offshore sailing in Canada. A core team of Canadian sailors will manage the day-to-day running of the yacht’s technical performance while the team embarks on a rigorous schedule of offshore training and race preparation.

Canada Ocean Racing credit Mark Lloyd
Canada Ocean Racing. Photo courtesy of Mark Lloyd

From youth engagement programs with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Foundation to gender equity and inclusion opportunities with The Magenta Project, the Canada Ocean Racing team says it will create a pathway for future athletes in performance sailing.

“I know that taking on the Vendée Globe will be the biggest challenge of my life,” says Shawyer. “I’ve joined forces with one of the best in the business, Alex Thomson, and like him, I have always been competitive and driven. With the launch of Canada Ocean Racing, we have three clear objectives: to become the first Canadian to complete the Vendée Globe, to develop the sport of offshore sailing within Canada, and to build a successful business in the sport. We are a proud and adventurous nation, and it’s time for Canada to compete on the world stage in singlehanded offshore sailing.”

Shawyer, who has a background in automation solutions, is hoping to make history by becoming the first Canadian to complete the Vendée Globe. He says he also aims to create a Canadian venture that is economically viable and provides an ongoing platform for the continued development of offshore sailing in Canada.

Scott Shawyer
Scott Shawyer. Photo courtesy of Richard Mardens

Thomson and his team bring over 20 years’ experience, renowned for bringing the Vendée Globe to an international audience, delivering both on and off the water. Thomson has competed in five Vendée Globe races, including two podiums and numerous world records.

Thomson said, “When I met Scott, I knew that together we could continue my goal of taking this incredible sport to a wider international audience. I am delighted that together we are launching the newly founded Canada Ocean Racing team. The Vendée Globe and solo offshore sailing has been such an important part of my life and is so much more than a sport. It inspires and engages so many people, and I think bringing the sport to a relatively new market like Canada will help to continue the growth and internationalisation of the sport.

Canada Ocean Racing
Canada Ocean Racing. Photo courtesy of Mark Lloyd

“Scott has all the raw ingredients required to sail solo around the world, and together with his business experience, drive, and commitment, we are going to create a long-term and meaningful campaign, and hopefully have some fun on the way.”

During the Vendée Globe, solo sailors race 24 hours a day for eighty days straight, sailing in the most remote oceans on the planet. The race, which takes place every four years, starts and finishes in France. The route takes sailors 42,000 kilometres circumnavigating four oceans, around the world, non-stop and without assistance.

Shawyer and the Canada Ocean Racing team have recently begun training as they prepare to compete in the IMOCA Globe Series, a series of offshore races including solo and double-handed transatlantic crossings, leading to the Vendée Globe in 2028.

The Canada Ocean Racing team will promote the new campaign through engagement with fans and sailing clubs in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax throughout September and October.

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