Helly Hansen lays on an action-packed week of on shore entertainment…

While some other week long regattas are aimed mainly at the competitors’ enjoyment on the water, Ford Cork Week likes to see itself as very different with plenty of fun and amusement for those on shore. Helly Hansen, the official clothing sponsor for the regatta, has organised an action-packed week of on shore entertainment.

Visitors to the regatta will be able to “Meet Your Heroes” as well as competing in the “All Hands on Deck” race. There will be interactive computer games, fashion shows, a large retail site and even a survival tank in which those brave enough can go through a simulated North Sea rescue situation wearing a Helly Hansen extreme offshore survival suit.

One of the most unusual centrepiece attractions at Crosshaven will be the Helly Hansen North Sea survival tank. Measuring some 3.5 metres high and 1.5 metres wide, this massive tank holds 4,000 litres of water chilled to 5 degrees C. The circular tank has viewing windows so that spectators can see as the ‘survivor’ steps into the water.

Five degrees C represents the average temperature of the North Sea so Helly Hansen is realistically simulating North Sea conditions. Wearing a survival suit allows the wearer to survive in the water for hours whereas, without a suit hypothermia would kill in minutes.

Anyone can have a go in the survival tank, which also helps demonstrate the importance of wearing appropriate clothing. The mean water temperatures around Cork over winter are 6-8 degrees C, rising to around 16-18 degrees C in the height of summer.

“Meet Your Heroes”

Spectators and competitors will have the opportunity to meet with, and ask questions to, Djuice Dragon Watch Captain Espien Guttormsen hot off the Volvo Ocean Race, Irish Olympic hopeful 49er Tom Fitzpatrick, Helly Hansen sailing symbol and helmsman on “Bear of Britain” Mark Campbell-James and local sailor Tom Fitzpatrick. For those that want to keep ahead of the fleet at Ford Cork Week, Crosshaven resident Joe English, who has competed in the Whitbread Round the World Race, Americas Cup and Admirals Cup, will be sharing his local sailing knowledge and offering top tips when it comes to sailing around Cork Harbour, but only for those that turn up.

“All Hands on Deck”

How long does it take a Volvo Ocean Race sailor to get dressed? Seconds. At Ford Cork Week the race is on to find the quickest dresser. The competition, open to all, has been set up to see how quickly the public can get into a full set of seagear, comprising of 6 layers, identical to that worn by the Djuice Dragon team whilst they raced around the world.

Retail Therapy and On-site embroidery service

Helly Hansen is creating a retail site within the Royal Cork Yacht Club site at Crosshaven which is an integral part of the tented village. The shopping site will contain a huge range of clothing from highly technical jackets and foul weather trousers through to casual shorts, T-shirts and sweaters and is open from morning ’til night, enabling both competitors and spectators to browse and buy at their leisure. The Helly Hansen retail shop will have the official on-site embroidery service for the event. This service means that crew names and boat names can be sewn onto a range of selected clothing featuring the official Ford Cork Week 2002 logo.

Interactive games to test your sailing skills

Unique Helly Hansen interactive video game consoles will be located in the tented village for sailors and spectators alike to test their skills against the experts. Users select the type of race they want to compete in and a choice of real-life participants. These include several Helly Hansen sponsored Olympic sailors, some of whom will actually be competing at Ford Cork Week

The competitors are then presented with varying weather conditions, and have to select the most appropriate clothing, bearing in mind the type of racing and the conditions. With the emphasis on technical clothing, the race depends on ensuring that your participants are dressed in the ideal clothes for the conditions in order to perform at their best. The computer then determines whether your selection keeps your sailor warm, dry and operating most effectively to get you across the line first.

Ford Cork Week – visit the website www.fordcorkweek.com