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29 May 2011

Hatfield takes 3rd in Velux 5 Oceans

Derek Hatfield, Canada's top solo sailor, took third place in the 30,000-mile 2010/11 Velux 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race. The 58-year-old sailed the 60-foot Active House across the finish line at 0707 UTC on May 29 in La Rochelle, France. Derek sailed a total of 32,216 miles which took 130 days, 17 hours, 42 minutes. Derek edged out Chris Stanmore-Major for 3rd place overall by only 3 points in the world's toughest sailing race.

Derek is the only Canadian to have sailed solo around the world twice. In the 2002/3 Velux 5 Oceans, his yacht was capsized and the mast lost rounding Cape Horn, but he managed to repair the boat and finished the race. In 2008 he raced in the Vendée Globe but he had to retire when his yacht's rig was damaged.

Derek said, "This was a huge project, two years in preparation and then nine months of sailing and to get it all done is amazing. The sense of accomplishment is huge. It will sink in a bit later when we're tied to the dock and able to relax a bit, but right now it feels good. ... It's my third race round the world, and my second complete circumnavigation. It feels good to be representing Canada and the flag, and that's what it's all about for us."

Canada loves you too Derek!

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