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New Double-Handed Pairing Heading Offshore

by Elise Vinet 3 Jun 2019 03:55 PDT
British sailors Hannah Diamond and Henry Bomby have joined forces © Jean-Marie Liot

With the introduction of a double handed, mixed offshore world championship to the annual sailing calendar and an offshore medal on the roster for the Paris 2024 Olympics, British sailors Hannah Diamond and Henry Bomby have joined forces to race together in 2019, laying down strong foundations for a full Olympic campaign.

Although the prospect of Olympic selection is four years away the British pairing are starting their campaign early intending to make good use of time [a key component of any successful sailing campaign.] The new duo will race the Rolex Fastnet Race and Rolex Middle Sea Race, along with other domestic shorter races. Diamond & Bomby will be racing on board Jeanneau's brand new Sun Fast 3300 model.

"The new Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300, is designed by Daniel Andrieu and Guillaume Verdier and is a balanced and versatile boat optimized for IRC," commented Nigel Colley, Sea Ventures MD. "We are delighted to be supporting The Offshore Academy and such talented British sailors as Hannah and Henry The Sun Fast 3300 was designed with the intent to be raced double handed and so it will provide a good test bed for their campaign. I'm excited to be following the team and seeing how the boat will perform in the hands of the young guns. We sailed together at the recent Sun Fast World Cup in France, and I've seen first-hand that the boat will be in very capable hands."

Diamond and Bomby will race one of the first batch of four boats and are working alongside Jeanneau to finalise the detailing and optimisation prior to full production starting in the autumn. Early knowledge of the boat is clearly an advantage, but more importantly is the time on the water, two-handed in this size of boat.

"Being able to start our campaign now is a fantastic opportunity, but there are still many unknowns about the mixed offshore medal," Bomby commented on the campaign and partnership. "What we do know is being skilled in the short-handed discipline on 30ft boats will be crucial and so that's where we'll focus our energy initially. I'm excited to be getting back offshore in this size of boat, it's a modern version of the Figaro2 that I raced for four years. I'm also really looking forward to racing with Hannah, she's got great complimentary skills and I think we can do well."

Diamond and Bomby got to know each other whilst competitors in the last Volvo Ocean Race, [Hannah with 11th Hour Racing and Henry on board Turn the Tide on Plastic], and with the announcement of a mixed event at the Olympics they were keen to work towards that goal.

Diamond comes from the Olympic pathway having campaigned the Olympic Nacra 17 and is familiar with the realms of Olympic planning and preparation. She commented: "I've really enjoyed the conversion from dinghies to offshore sailing over the years and now with this campaign I can bring all of my learnings and campaigning experience from the Nacra. Teaming up with Henry was a natural fit as his solo experience combined with my Olympic program experience alongside our time in the Volvo Ocean Race will be a good foundation to build upon."

Whilst competing around the world against each other, their boats each represented important environmental messages, a theme they are keen to evolve with this new campaign. Bomby, an Ocean Ambassador for The National Marine Aquarium is particularly keen to spread the message of Ocean Health to as wider audience as possible. "The ocean is our race track, by competing across the ocean we can inspire everyone to look after it, after my time with Turn the Tide on Plastic, and Hannah's with Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we've got a much better understanding of the issues, and are very keen to share them."

Henry said: The support of The Offshore Academy and Sea Ventures is a great kick-start to get our campaign off the ground, the boat is the perfect boat for this project, and the programme we have for 2019 is an ideal platform to layer on some commercial backers whom we hope will find some synergies between our performance campaign and our passion for Ocean Health and their business and beliefs.

Charles Darbyshire Director of The Offshore Academy commented "Having a manufacturer 'works team' allows The Offshore Academy to bring together current partners and leading industry suppliers to support Henry and Hannah in this exciting campaign, whether testing new products and ideas or simply long-term testing of existing equipment. The link with the factory is a significant development in the sport, and we look forward to working closely with Jeanneau, and Sea Ventures here in the UK." The team has partnership opportunities available at different levels, for private individuals or companies.

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