Purpose of this document:
To inform sponsors, potential sponsors and other interested parties of the purpose of my single handed circumnavigation, of it's goals, merits and history and how I plan to do it. I also hope to show the potential opportunities that exist for publicity and marketing.
Sharing with the world the qualities and capabilities of the deaf community;
Promoting debate and publicizing the unique challenges of being deaf;
Inspiring other deaf people to achieve their personal goals.
To raise funds so as to enable my less fortunate fellow deaf(many who live in poverty and in countries where the government does not fund the implant), to experience the miracle of the Cochlear Implant
Promoting the Junk Rig for disabled sailing.
To be the first deaf person to single handedly circumnavigate the globe, the hard way.
A single handed circumnavigation of the globe in my own sailing boat, via the five great southern capes namely, Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia), South West Cape (Tasmania), South East Cape (New Zealand) and Cape Horn (Chile, South America). Stopping at major ports (and some not so major) doing and using whatever means at hand, to generate publicity for the deaf community and sponsors of this project.
What's in it for you?
Publicity, in the newspapers, magazine articles and TV both locally and internationally. I would also like to work with you to develop marketing ideas by which we can use this unique event to further the marketing of your products, services and brand awareness. I will carry your logo on my hull or on the sails, depending on the agreement worked out. I also undertake to promote your product at every opportunity available to me. This is all over and above that of the personal satisfaction that you can get by helping a community that has been long neglected and is most deserving of your assistance. Further more, expenses not coming from your marketing budget can be put down as charitable contributions and are thus tax deductible.
The first available weather window for which I will be ready opens October 2005 to December 2005. How long? There is almost a years sailing in this just to cover the distance. So with stops we will most likely be looking at about two years duration. The number of stops depends on the financing available, so I am unable to tell you just yet, exactly where and how many stops we will have. One thing for sure, all things being equal, more stops mean more publicity and media exposure but also need more funding. I propose to plan my stops in conjunction with my sponsors, bearing in mind the goal of achieving maximum media exposure for all parties concerned.
History Of This Project:
In 1993 when I skippered Acid Rain in that Cape to Rio yacht race, I was tremendously impressed by my two blind crew. That led to me making a resolution to be more involved with the disabled community and the deaf. I was however not able to do anything immediately as I had just finally got my own boat ready and was about to depart on my own long anticipated cruise.
Come 1999, I was in Annapolis, Maryland, USA when I finally realised it was high time to do something for the deaf community. So in my usual fashion I set about doing something about it immediately. It was hard work, especially so being in foreign country and not being able to work to earn a living but in the space of a few month I found sponsors and created some publicity. The highlights of that effort was receiving honorary citizenship of Annapolis and being cited in the Maryland congress for my efforts to help the deaf community. A TV documentary of my trip was to be made.
All of that came to a sudden and dramatic end, when in April 2000, only two months from my departure date and with everything going well, I lost all residual hearing. It was quite a traumatic and shocking experience for me. One minute I could hear and the next the world was silent, except for the screaming of audio nerves gone hairwire.
On losing my hearing I immediately became a candidate for a cochlear implant. I was advised (by my doctors) that it should be done ASAP, as the longer the brain is without sound, the more audio memory it looses and the chances of a successful implant become less so. I immediately advised my sponsors of the matter and also of what the medical advise had been. My American sponsors with their tremendous generosity were completely unanimous in that I should get my hearing sorted out and then afterwards, should I still want, I could consider taking up the circumnavigation again.
So with the help of Mr. and Mrs. Stein and David Hoffberger my chief sponsors, a place was found for La Chica on the hard at USN Naval Academy. The boat was put ashore and I flew back to Cape Town, South Africa to have my cochlear implant. The implant was done on December 11th 2000.
The whole implant process takes approximately two years as the manner in which the audio nerves response to the implant initially changes nearly constantly and the program driving the implant must be adjusted accordingly.
I was long enough in South Africa to get married and realise that South Africa, while still a wonderful country, was not exactly the place to bring up children.
Having met so many really pleasant Kiwi's while sailing and hearing the constant stories about how great the sailing in Hauraki Gulf is, my wife and I decided that New Zealand would be our new home. We acquired permanent residence and arrived in our new home country on 9th April 2002.
In June 2003 things had settled enough so that I could borrow some money and have La Chica shipped to New Zealand.
At the beginning of this year, 2004, it was finally time to honour those promises made in America and earn the awards that were given. It did not make any sense to go back to the USA and besides I would rather honour my new country if possible. My boat La Chica was not in good shape after just being left standing for all this time (three years).
To my surprised and delight, when I discussed this with my now former employer, Graham Johnson of Johnson Yachts International Ltd., he immediately offered to help and assist me. Graham has paid for material, provided labour and facilities to do needed repair work on the hull. He has also given me office facilities and helped me where he could in the search for sponsors.
I can only say that the response of the New Zealand boating industry and the kindness of the people in it has been fantastic. Here you can see my current sponsors the order (in case you should wonder) is simply the order in which they came on board. To all of you who have sponsored me, I say once again, thank you very much and affirm my commitment to generate publicity for you and your products at every available opportunity.