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Premier radio communications manufacturer, ICOM, launches into the 21st century as the official radio communications supplier for the BT Global Challenge, the world’s toughest yacht race.

The BT Global Challenge features 15 identical 72 foot steel ocean racing yachts manned by a professional skipper and 17 highly trained volunteer crew. The race is to set sail from the UK travelling the wrong way round the world, from east to west against prevailing winds and currents.

The 30,000-mile journey begins with a race across the Atlantic to the East Coast of the USA. The fleet then heads for Brazil and the infamous Cape Horn, where it will encounter winds pushing into the forties as they race towards the next port of call, Wellington, New Zealand. Following a sprint to Australia the yachts cross the Southern Ocean to Cape Town, South Africa. A final stop in Southern Europe then brings the teams back to the UK.

ICOM will provide the vital radio communication required for such a voyage enabling contact between the crews as well as the organisers on land. Safety is paramount in such an endeavour and the radios will play an important part in providing reassurance to all involved.

Alistair Hackett from The Challenge Business International said, “We are looking for communication equipment that can provide a high level of reliability at a competitive price to provide VHF and HF communications for the next BT Global Challenge in 2000-2001, The Worlds Toughest Yacht Race. The Prototype of the new 72’, Rob Humphries designed, yacht is being used to test and evaluate the latest Icom equipment, as this fulfilled all the requirements of The Challenge Business Ltd, organisers of The BT Global Challenge.”

Dale Blackman, Marketing Manager at ICOM UK, said, ”ICOM is delighted to have been chosen as the main radio communications supplier for such a fantastic and challenging event. Our radios are specifically designed to withstand the turbulent conditions that these yachts will encounter and we have no doubt that they will be indispensable to all those involved in the race.”

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