Welcome to SpeedDream, our quest to build the world's fastest sailboat. This (occasional) blog will be about all things speed, records and offshore sailing. The blog is written by Brian Hancock, author of seven books, himself a multiple circumnavigator and currently the Creative and Media Director for SpeedDream. Please "like" us and circulate as much as possible. Help us share the dream.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
SpeedDream Profile - Cam Lewis - Skipper
Cam Lewis - skipper of SpeedDream
If you have followed sailing over
the last three decades one name has always been at the forefront; Cam Lewis.
From a young, hot dinghy sailor who won the Finn Gold Cup in 1980 and soon
followed it with back-to-back world championship victories in the 505 class in
81/82, Cam has turned his ample sailing talent into a career at the cutting
edge of the sport. Now, in between his time spent racing fast boats and
commentating on events like the Americas Cup, Cam plays the hands-on role as
skipper of SpeedDream.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the
SpeedDream project,” Cam recently told a BBC film crew. “The leading edge of
the sport is where SpeedDream is going to be pushing the edge, learning from it
and really opening up people’s eyes to something a little bit different.”
Learning, pushing the edge and opening up peoples eyes have been the hallmark
of a three decade career as professional sailor for Cam and his trademark “Sail
Fast” slogan which he has been applied to a broad section of sailboats from
dinghies to super-multihulls.
In the early ‘90s Cam was invited
by celebrated French sailor Bruno Peyron to be the only non-Frenchman aboard
Commodore Explorer as they attempted to break the mythical Jules Verne 80-day
circumnavigation time. The 86-foot catamaran seemed well suited for the job,
but a 27,000 nautical mile circumnavigation is fraught with pitfalls and the
crew had their fair share along the way. So it was with great relief that they
crossed the finish line back in France with a scant 18 hours to spare. Their 79
day and 6 plus hours circumnavigation time would stand for many years and the
accomplishment won Cam the coveted Rolex Sailor of the Year award.
Not satisfied with that
accomplishment, Cam led a team to build a brand new 110-foot catamaran to participate
in The Race, a new circumnavigation event for maxi-multihulls. On a tight
budget, but with a crack team, Cam and company led the race into the Southern
Ocean before the forward crossbeam started delaminating from the fire-hydrant
intense waves. Team Adventure was sidelined for repairs both in South Africa
and New Zealand, but still went on to finish in third place overall, a good
showing despite the setbacks.
Cam is one of a few people that
operate well at high speeds. He thinks best when the platform under him is
skating perilously close to the edge be it skiing, ice boating or plain old
sailing as a seriously fast pace. There is no panic; just pure
adrenaline-filled bliss and a hunger to break new territory and win competitive
races. From the outset Cam was enthusiastic about the possibilities of a boat
like SpeedDream. Just how much possibility and potential the boat may have will
soon be revealed as Cam takes the tiller and points the aft-raked bow toward
the distant horizon on its maiden sail.
Cam being interviewed by the BBC for a Science of Speed program