ANNAPOLIS, Md.– Beneteau America will support and sponsor the Sailing for ALS campaign, led by Beneteau dealership owner Charles-Etienne Devanneaux (Charly) of NAOS Yachts, in Marina del Rey, Calif.
On July 8, Charly and his racing partner Fred Courouble will embark on a 2,070 mile journey from San Francisco to Hawaii as part of the annual Pacific Cup ocean race. Their motivation for crossing the finish line: to honor the memory of their friend, Gilles Galerne, who lost an eight-month battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012.
Charly and Courouble – a naval architect and aerospace engineer – participated in the 2011 TransPacific Ocean Race, on a Beneteau First40 with other friends, including Gilles Galerne, and finished second in their class. In 2012, they sailed in the Pacific Cup, double-handed on their Beneteau First30 and won first place in their class.
After their 2012 win on NAOS30, they wanted an even faster boat, selecting the 2013 Beneteau First-30 R, built in France. Thirsty is built for offshore passage, communicating via satellite to receive weather data and emails during her crossing to Hawaii.
This joint awareness and fundraising effort between NAOS, Passage Yachts and Beneteau America has set an ambitious goal of $100,000 to benefit the ALS Association Golden West Chapter. The race will begin in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Richmond Yacht Club and will end at the Kaneohe Yacht Club in Hawaii. The crew is already sharing their adventures as they prepare to set sail, and will continue to update their followers throughout the race via social media with video and photos.