Pilkington: Summer sail

Two Pilkington sailing crews will contest the annual Industry Sailing Challenge trophy this summer. Following a respectable showing by the good ship Pilkington Activ™ in its first ever stab at the event last year, a second crew has formed to man - and woman - a sister craft under the banner of Pilkington K-Glass™.Both teams will be testing their sea-legs on the Solent in April before heading for the first round of the Challenge, twice around the Isle of Wight, in May.

They will be up against crews from major companies such as Avis, Powergen, Microsoft, Royal Bank Of Scotland and Rolls Royce but all teams start on a level deck by using identical Jeanneau Sunfast 37 yachts, chartered from organisers Sunsail.

Team Activ remains unchanged from last year. Skippered by global supply manager John Brighouse, it includes global manufacturing director Bill Pardoe, director of business re-engineering AGR Mike Ball, group director of supply management David Whatham, head of product development for global automotive marketing Peter Watters and Stuart Norman from the purchasing department.

Team K-Glass draws talent from further afield. Skippered by Holland's Nico Ophoff, it includes three German crew - Heinz Lackmann from Gelsenkirchen, Martin Wigge from Group IT in Essen and Jurgen Gehlfuhs from Gladbeck - plus Karen Russ from BP group manufacturing and Pauline Young from Automotive purchasing.

"After the reports in Focus last year, we got a lot of enquiries from people asking if they could get involved," said John. "Having another Pilkington boat to race against will add an extra competitive edge.

"We were encouraged by our showing last year and this time we will know the boat and the waters that bit better. Both crews have a mix of experience - some have done a lot of sailing but there's also an opportunity for others, such as Pauline, to try yachting for the first time. At the moment we're all feeling pretty optimistic."

A good performance by either crew in the first round means they will go forward to the finals, to be held in July. Find out more and follow the race on www.isc-gb.com.

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