Mission I: Welcoming Mike Gascoyne

On the 28th November 2012 we picked up a tweet about Mike Gascoyne leaving Lisbon, Portugal and solo racing straight to Grenada.
Every year many sail boats cross the Atlantic, but from Lisbon to Grenada? And on a solo race? This made us curious and we started to do some research. As we are more interested in sailing than in Formula One, the name did not ring a bell. Thanks to all the social media tools we found out more about Mike Gascoyne and the Caterham Callenge.

Caterham Composites

Caterham Composites

We contacted Caterham Composites and asked for permission to surprise Mike Gascoyne with a ‘Welcome Fleet’ in Grenada. He had a tracker on his boat and tweeted his positions, weather conditions and made everybody be part of his race to Grenada.
Browse through the videos Mike Gascoyne made during his solo race:
You can also follow him on Twitter!

The 48 hours before his arrival were extremely exciting as the ETA’s (estimated time of arrival) changed due to weather and wind conditions.
1. ETA Thursday, 13th December, 2pm
2. ETA Thursday, 13th December, 6pm: tricky timing for us, as there are reefs which can not be seen very well in the dark.
3. ETA Friday, 14th December, just after sunrise: much better
Then a tweet ‘Land Ho, Carriacou ahead, first land sighted since the southern tip of Madira 12 days ago’
4. ETA Friday, 14th December, 5pm
Could not have been better planned! The weather was absolutely perfect, blue sky and calm sea with a light breeze.
At 2pm we gathered with friends and press people and jumped on our boats and headed out to greet Mike Gascoyne.

Anybody who ever made a crossing knows the feeling when suddenly after days with no land sighting you see a green dot that gets bigger and land forms. This was now the other way around and it is very exciting too! You see a little white dot but is i him? Then it gets bigger and bigger and then you can see and you know YES it is him, he made it!

Well done Mike for solo racing from Lisbon to Grenada on this class 40 racing yacht, what an achievement!

Mike mentioned in the interview that he is looking into taking part the next Barcelona World Race 2014 . We wish you all the luck and you can bet we will ‘follow’ you!

Thanks again for letting us be part of it!
Daniela & Rene

Pictures courtesy picturesofgrenda.com

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Mike Gascoyne Bio

Mike, is one of the most renowned technicians in Formula One and has carved out an illustrious career at the pinnacle of international motorsport for over two decades. Having studied for a Ph.D. in fluid dynamics at Cambridge University throughout the 1980s, Mike’s passion for motorsport took him into the world of Formula One for the first time in 1989 when he joined the McLaren team. Since 1989 Mike has continued working at varying teams and currently holds the position of Group Chief Technical Officer, with overall technical responsibility for all Caterham Group activities.
Mike started sailing at a very early age. His dad run the north norfolk sailing school and the solo atlantic crossing was always something he dreamed of. Caterham Composites and its affiliation with Alex Thomson Racing and Mike’s experience in sailing will improve the understanding of the technical needs within the marine sector and the solutions Caterham Composites can offer…

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