McDonnell Haynes supports Derek Hatfield's attempt to win the 5-Oceans solo sailing race

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McDonnell Haynes Integrated Communications Partners has developed a new fundraising advertising campaign to support Canadian Derek Hatfield's bid to sail around the world on board Spirit of Canada Â? the most sophisticated racing boat in the world.

Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) July 21, 2005 — McDonnell Haynes Integrated Communications Partners has developed a new fundraising advertising campaign to support Canadian Derek Hatfield’s bid to sail around the world on board Spirit of Canada – the most sophisticated racing boat in the world.

The agency recently launched a series of ads designed to heighten awareness of Canada's only competitor in the upcoming 5-Oceans Challenge solo sailing race in 2006 – Skipper Derek Hatfield aboard Spirit of Canada. The ads feature the names of Canadians who have contributed to support Derek's bid for this coveted world prize, including a 5-year-old boy, Canadian Naval Lieutenant Thomas Richard Hilliard, and Wando, the Triple Crown winning thoroughbred. The advertising campaign includes pro bono magazine, newspaper and radio.

This will be Derek's second race around the world. In 2002 he finished third after his boat pitch-poled off Cape Horn and he survived a terrifying hurricane off the Falkland Islands. He is only the 126th sailor to survive this grueling challenge. The entire mission is funded by strategically aligned corporate sponsors and individuals whose names are immortalized on the hull of the boat. In 2002, over 2,500 individual grassroots financial supporters donated money. This year, the goal is 10,000 names on the boat. Derek has been taking his story of determination and perseverance to corporate audiences and school kids across the country, raising money and inspiring Canadians to pursue their own dreams and to never give up when things get tough.

McDonnell Haynes is working with a team of communications experts to keep Canadians informed of Derek's progress as race day approaches. Then, an integrated communications campaign will distribute the story to schools across Canada.

"Our ads encourage Canadians to get on board and join Derek Hatfield on this incredible adventure by visiting http://www.spiritofcanada.net and to contribute financially to help support his bid for victory," says agency Co-Founder and Creative Director Phil Haynes.

About the Boat

Construction of the new Open 60 ocean racer, Spirit of Canada, began in September 2004 and the boat promises to be one of the most technologically advanced racing machines in the world. Satellite technology supplied by EMS Technologies will "wire" the boat with capabilities that will include: satellite voice communications, weather tracking and reporting, email and fax, as well as video transfer functions similar to those used by embedded journalists to cover the Iraq war.

Using the satellite link, Derek can conduct television interviews from the boat, support a daily Internet blog, and exchange emails with kids as part of Spirit of Canada's global education program that teaches children about the ocean and the environment. As well, an array of video cameras attached at various vantage points will provide daily webcam feeds featuring raw footage from the deck of Spirit of Canada.

About Derek’s first attempt

Starting in September 2002 and ending in May of 2003, Derek completed more than 28,700 nautical miles in the "Around Alone" Single-handed Yacht Race. Overcoming severe obstacles, Derek was one of nine international competitors and the only Canadian to finish the gruelling event.

The major challenge occurred in the fourth leg of the race off South America's infamous Cape Horn. After fighting 60-foot waves during a daylong Southern Ocean gale, a vertical breaking wave pitch-poled Spirit of Canada. The boat stood on its nose, flipped upside down, then back up again. Derek was thrown off the deck into the frigid water and then scooped up again as the boat righted itself. Unfortunately, the mast of Spirit of Canada was lost in the accident. Devastated, Derek switched on the boat’s motor and powered his way for 36 hours to Ushuaia, Argentina. Over the next five weeks, Derek and his team of friends and supporters worked diligently to repair the boat and get him back onto the racecourse. With a new mast, sails and new electronics, Derek was determined to make up the ground he lost.

On May 31st, 2003, after almost eight months at sea, Derek arrived at the finish line in Newport, RI. He received a hero's welcome, as hundreds of people came out to greet the man who just wouldn't quit. Despite the many setbacks, Spirit of Canada finished third overall in Class II, making it the fastest 40-foot boat throughout the event.

About the 5-Oceans solo sailing race

The 5-Oceans solo sailing race is acknowledged as the longest, hardest event for an individual in any sport. Each skipper will spend approximately eight months at sea, covering 28,700 nautical miles. These elite athletes will call on huge reserves of self-reliance, courage and stamina to pass through some of the most remote and dangerous places on Earth. Many will be on board hi-tech Open 60's - the Formula One cars of sailing – 60 feet long and built from carbon fiber using the latest composite technology. They are designed to be as light and as fast as possible but strong enough to withstand the worst the world’s oceans can throw at them.

This unique event occurs only once every four years. September 2006 will mark the sixth anniversary. The race is composed of three legs, each scored grand prix style. This multi-leg structure provides more leverage opportunities for sponsors, more peaks of excitement and drama for media and race followers, and a much more international fleet of competing skippers.

About McDonnell Haynes Integrated Communications Partners

McDonnell Haynes Integrated Communications Partners is one of the leading, independent marketing communications companies in Canada. Founded in 1986, the agency specializes in brand management and prides itself on taking an integrated, media-neutral approach to message creation. The agency is also recognized for its innovative Maximized Collateral Marketing™ process. The three simple principles of "Look deeper, aim higher and work harder" define the agency's approach for developing creatively-compelling, results-generating solutions for a wide range of clients including TD Bank Financial Group, Schneider Foods, Michelina's, CHIP (Canadian Home Income Plan), TARION Warranty Corporation, Toronto Transit Commission, Shade-O-Matic, ACE Bakery and George Brown College.

Contact:

Patianne Verburgh

Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges

(416) 816-7446

Phil Haynes

McDonnell Haynes Integrated Communications Partners

416-467-8068 ext. 224

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Chris Larsen