Creightons Naturally (previoulsy FCF Challenger), the British entry, Whitbread 89 – 90 Class winner, is about to be transformed in preparation for the Legends Regatta in Alicante, Spain 2011. The renowned yellow boat will be making an unusual appearance, covered bow to stern in ocean stories and messages from around the world to spread the vision for The Ocean Story Regatta, the Race for the Oceans.
Ocean lovers from all walks of life, all ages and all cultures are being invited to share their ocean story or message with the world. The stories will range from the ancient indigenous tales of natural wisdom to those of adventure, races, romance, nautical legends and environmental impact along with messages from those who wish to be counted in support of ocean protection. The stories will be imprinted on the yacht’s hull and some of her sails. One of the first messages to go on to the boat is Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace statement.
Creightons Naturally’s destiny was re-shaped following a cross-pacific journey taken by her new owners. After witnessing at first hand the devastation of how our current way of living is impacting the marine environment and the lives of those that depend on it, they changed their plans to have her as a cruiser and decided to put her to use for the greater good. Their first notion had been to use her as a fund-raising vessel to support an island nation, indigenous culture or marine conservation group, but they had the sense that they could do more if they united with people in a beautiful vision that everybody could play a part in. This led them to the creation of the Ocean Story Foundation. Their vision is to create a regatta with a difference to make a difference, thus A Race for the Oceans was born, a regatta for the people.
They created the Ocean Story Foundation and then headed off to Australia to start the restoration of Creightons so that she could be put to work for ocean and marine based causes. All seemed well until Brisbane was suddenly hit by a terrible flood in January 2011. The Creightons was moored on the river but rising flood waters were turning her into a possible river danger, should she break her mooring. Sinking her was even considered and a gun ship was standing by to blow a hole in her hull if necessary. A tense 48 hours passed, watching people lose their loved ones, their homes and boats. For a moment, they sat back and wondered if their dream of using this boat for a good cause was a lost one, but by some miracle, the ship survived.
In the midst of all of this chaos the owners started to hear whispers coming through, informing them that there was going to be, for the first time ever, a new Legends Regatta for previous round the world racers, and people started to ask whether it would be possible to bring the Creightons to this event. With the Creightons in Australia just preparing for restoration, this seemed a tall order, yet it also seemed that this was her perfect destination.
The journey from Australia to Spain to bring the Creightons to the Legends Regatta is the start of the Ocean Story Foundation’s journey, bringing a vision to the world and inviting people to play a part in the creation of that vision. Everybody is invited, and the aim is to cover the boat’s entire hull, bow to stern, and her sails in ocean Stories and ocean messages from people who wish to share them with the world in support of the oceans.
Those interested can register and upload their stories, messages and videos on www.oceanstory.org or send in via Twitter using the #oceanmessage hash tag. All stories can be viewed on the Ocean Story website and the best will be incorporated into the boat’s design and invited to be part of a cinematic adventure.