DEREK HATFIELD – Keynote Speaker
Taking Canada’s Colours Around The World
If sports are a metaphor for life, and all of its concerns – personal, financial, business, family – then imagine the lessons we can learn from the world’s most difficult, challenging, and gruelling individual competition: single handed open ocean sailing. Derek Hatfield draws out these lessons in a fascinating and visually stimulating presentation that tells the story of his successful completion of the Around Alone race. From perseverance, to teamwork (he was on the boat alone but had to work closely with his support team on shore), to focus and entrepreneurial drive, Derek weaves a tale that is both practical and motivational and is sure to resonate with all that listen.
It takes tremendous courage, determination and persistence to race around the world alone. Derek Hatfield is only the 126th person to ever have done it. As perspective, this is fewer than the approximately 400 astronauts who have gone into space or the over 15,000 mountaineers who have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. It is a tremendous accomplishment under normal circumstances, but Derek’s story is truly inspiring.
Starting in September 2002 and ending in May of 2003, Derek captured the attention of sailing enthusiasts around the world as a competitor in the 2002-2003 Around Alone. Despite a devastating pitch pole and dismasting near the infamous Cape Horn, Derek finished 1st in his class and became only the 2nd Canadian ever to complete the demanding race. Although Derek’s path was marked by seemingly insurmountable challenges, it was his perseverance and never-give-up attitude that were the guiding forces behind his successful drive to the finish line.
In November 2008, after 5 years of building North America’s first state of the art all carbon IMOCA 60; Derek set off once again, this time to become the first Canadian to attempt the gruelling Vendee Globe, a non stop race around the planet where each competitor is both skipper and crew and the closest companion is a world away. Only 11 of the 30 competitors managed to finish the 28,000-mile race around the world. After 50 days at sea – weeks of enduring vicious Southern Ocean storms, Derek’s 60 foot boat was rolled upside down and sustained damage to the mast. Unable to affect the necessary repairs to the mast while at sea, Derek was forced to retire from the race.
Derek and his team are now preparing for the next big challenge, the prestigious VELUX 5 Oceans single handed race around the world. This race is the longest and toughest event for any individual in any sport. Starting in France on October 17th, 2010 the racers will navigate through a series of high-pressure sprints within a marathon circumnavigation.
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