Lady Pippa Blake, wife of the late, great, Sir Peter Blake, the charismatic New Zealander who completed the first five Whitbread Round the World Races (which later became the Volvo Ocean Race in 1998), and who won the 1989-90 event with Steinlager 2, is to be the first Ambassador to the Volvo Ocean Race Legends reunion and regatta, which takes place on 1-5 November in Alicante next year.
Pippa, a well-known artist, who lives in the house she shared with Sir Peter by the estuary in Emsworth, UK, is delighted to be involved with this first ever official reunion of boats and people who have taken part in the first 10 races.
“The Whitbread will always hold a special place in my heart,” Pippa said. “So many friendships were made then, that still hold good today, and I remember the fun we had travelling the world together. Winning the event in 1989-90 was the culmination of years of planning, something that Peter was very good at.
“The Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta will be an event not to be missed, one where friends from all over the world will gather to reminisce, tell stories, remember the good times, the hard times, the glory and the defeat. It will be an amazing sight to see some of the boats that are etched in the history of this event, out on the water in racing trim, and parading out of Alicante at the head of the Volvo fleet. I am very proud to be involved and am looking forward very much to what is sure to be a fabulous week.”
Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, whose brainchild this event is, welcomed Pippa. “Peter Blake was a sailor’s sailor, a man who was respected by everyone, particularly those against whom he raced. Many of his former crew will be at the Volvo Ocean Race Legends event next year, and we could not be more proud to have Pippa there with us, celebrating the history of this great event.”
About the Volvo Legends Regatta and Reunion
• The first ever official reunion of all who have sailed in the world’s premier ocean race since the inaugural race in 1973-74.
• To be held in Alicante, Spain from 1-5 November 2011, week between Alicante In-Port Race and the Start of Leg One of the Volvo Ocean Race.
• A full racing schedule over two days.
• Will conclude with a departure ceremony and parade of sail to escort the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to the start line for Leg One
• A rich shoreside programme includes a regatta prizegiving, a gala dinner and a host of other social events.
• Chat shows and forums after racing.
• Legends entries open for public viewing.
The event promises to be a combination of a reunion of sailing greats, a concours d’elegance, an opportunity to renew old rivalries, and a party not to be missed.