The Anglo-German, all-female team of Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken have kept up a ferocious pace since announcing their partnership in the double-handed Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR). Securing a boat, undertaking the GOR’s 2,000 mile qualifying voyage and completing their first race together has been crammed into three hectic months and with just under 100 days to the start gun in Palma, Mallorca, on Sunday 25 September, Jenner and Renken are keeping the pressure on.
The duo first made contact last October when Jenner and Renken were planning individual GOR campaigns and the pair subsequently decided to collaborate, officially entering the race shortly before Christmas. In early March, Jenner and Renken secured the charter of Peter Harding’s Owen Clarke Design Jaz MkII Class40, 40 Degrees, launched in Cape Town in 2009.
The couple flew to Guadeloupe for the yacht’s handover, meeting with fellow GOR entry, Conrad Colman who had raced 40 Degrees from France to the Caribbean in the single-handed 2010 Route du Rhum. “I couldn’t believe that we would be sailing the Class40 we will race in the GOR,” recalls 31 year-old Hannah Jenner. “It was a great moment for us after months of being chained to laptops and phones and we were really looking forward to being out on the ocean and our campaign would finally be alive!”
For Jenner’s 30 year-old, German co-skipper, there was relief that the campaign timeline was on schedule: “The last two days before leaving for Guadeloupe were a crazy whirlwind of final arrangements,” confirms Renken. “Just five months earlier we decided to do the GOR together and we had put March in the diary as the month we needed to be sailing by,” she continues. “It was fantastic that we achieved this deadline!”