Frequently Asked Questions
11th Hour Racing, based out of Newport, Rhode Island, works with the sailing community and maritime industries to advance solutions and practices that protect and restore the health of our ocean. 11th Hour Racing embraces sponsorships, grantees, and ambassadors who integrate sustainability into their values and operations while educating, innovating and inspiring people with the critical message of ocean stewardship. Fostering environmentally sustainable practices on and off the water is critical to the restoration of our ocean and its vital resources. 11th Hour Racing was previously a co-sponsor of Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the 2017-18 edition of The Ocean Race and returns as the team’s lead sailing sponsor with an eye on the next edition of The Ocean Race. 11th Hour Racing is also a Premier Partner of The Ocean Race.
1 Degree is the organization co-founded by America’s leading offshore sailors Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. We are dedicated to winning the world’s premier round-the-world sailing race – The Ocean Race – to promote the message of sustainable solutions and ocean health to millions of fans, sailors, and audiences worldwide.
Enright and Towill chose the name 1 Degree to highlight the notion that impacting and changing our everyday behaviors, even by just one degree at a time, has a huge effect on the overall environmental health of our planet.
After racing together in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 for Team Alvimedica, Enright and Towill joined up with global wind-power giant Vestas (Denmark) and Rhode Island-based 11th Hour Racing to form Vestas 11th Hour Racing in a campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.
It was during that campaign that Enright and Towill fully embraced the unique ability of sport to engage communities, influence fans and affect change across the world – focusing on the topics of ocean health, the climate crisis and clean seas so dear to any sailors’ heart.
The Ocean Race is the world’s premier round-the-world sailing race for teams, dating back to its origins as the Whitbread Round-The-World Race in 1973. Held every three or four years and known as The Volvo Ocean Race from 2001-2018, The Ocean Race will hold its 14th edition in the fall of 2021 — the fleet will depart from Alicante, Spain for the fifth consecutive time in the race’s history. Two classes will participate: the IMOCA 60 class competing for The Ocean Race Trophy, and the one-design Volvo Ocean 65 for the Ocean Challenge Trophy.
We view sustainability as the intrinsic balance between the social, economic, and environmental aspects of our everyday actions. We know that our planet is in peril and we are committed to being advocates for the ocean and the impacts climate change is having on it. Our goal is to lead by example, keeping the health of our oceans at the forefront of our decision-making process while promoting positive, systemic change.
We have been working hard over the last several months to develop our guiding vision and sustainability principles, which you can see in our announcement and on our website (#oceanhour). We are now further developing the specific targets and strategies around each of our four principles into a robust Sustainability Plan.
Read the team’s sustainability policy here.
The inspiration for the Transat Jacques Vabre comes from the old coffee trade route from France to South America and the Caribbean. First held in 1993, the race happens every two years and has become one of the most prestigious double-handed offshore races in the world, featuring Class 50, Multi 50 and IMOCA 60 yachts. 11th Hour Racing Team competed in the 2019 edition of the race. With Co-skippers Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry, the team departed from Le Havre, France on October 27 and finished in Salvador, Brazil in 4th place after 14 days.
11th Hour Racing has taken ownership of the former Hugo Boss foiling IMOCA 60 launched in 2015 which finished second in the 2016 Vendee Globe. The team has re-fitted and re-branded this boat for training and entry into the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre.
11th Hour Racing is truly a global team with staff and crew members from all over the world. The current training base for the team is in Port-la-Forêt, Brittany, France, while title sponsor 11th Hour Racing is based out of Newport, Rhode Island, US. The sailing team follows the best winds for training!
Mark Towill grew up sailing on the eastern shores of Oahu, Hawaii before racing on the sailing teams at both the prestigious Punahou School and Brown University Sailing Team.
In 2008, at age 18, Mark was selected to participate in the 44th Transpacific Yacht Race aboard Morning Light, an entry that was chronicled for a real-life documentary in Walt Disney’s motion picture “Morning Light.” Mark was the youngest member of the crew and his time on the open ocean with future 1 Degree Co-founder Charlie Enright was instrumental in charting his future course as a professional offshore sailor.
After graduating from Brown University in 2011 with degrees in Business and Environmental Studies, Mark set up All-American Ocean Racing with his former Brown sailing teammate Charlie Enright. The two had a vision to compete in the world’s premier crewed around-the-world sailing race, the Volvo Ocean Race.
That vision was realized three years later in 2014 when Mark and Charlie were at the starting line in Alicante, Spain, leading the campaign for Team Alvimedica in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Two years later, Charlie and Mark returned to the race with Vestas 11th Hour Racing, winning the opening leg.
Mark continues to build upon two round-the-world campaigns and a decade of ocean racing to put together the best possible team with the aim of winning The Ocean Race title for the first time — while raising awareness and urging action amongst the sailing community and racing fans with respect to environmental issues and ocean health. Everyone can do their part to help move the needle one degree at a time.
Born and raised in the maritime hub of Bristol, RI, Charlie was destined to sail from a young age after his grandfather – a boatbuilder – introduced him to the sport. Charlie attended Brown University, where as a member of the sailing team, he met his future teammate, sailing partner and 1 Degree Co-founder Mark Towill.
Following college graduation in 2008, Charlie joined the crew of the TP52 class sailing yacht Morning Light to take part in the 44th Transpacific Yacht Race. The team’s participation was filmed and chronicled in the documentary released by Walt Disney Pictures “Morning Light” later that year, providing Charlie his first moment in the sailing spotlight.
After some time working as a sailmaker at North Sails in Newport, RI, Charlie set his sights on participation in the Volvo Ocean Race. He competed in numerous offshore races and attended the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 start in Alicante, Spain determined to be on the start line for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Together with Mark, after starting All American Ocean Racing, the two entered the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with Team Alvimedica, leading the campaign as Skipper while featuring the youngest overall crew in the race. Two years later, Charlie and Mark would enter the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 again as Co-founders of the team, this time with Vestas 11th Hour Racing.
Mark and Charlie are now back again hoping for a third shot at the elusive Ocean Race Trophy. This time, at the age of 34, Charlie has two around-the-world campaigns under his belt and over a decade-worth of experience in offshore racing. His goal of winning the next Ocean Race comes with a mission to educate fans and followers along the way and challenge them to do their part in regards to ocean health and environmental issues. It’s this ‘one degree’ of change that Charlie believes can make a difference.
We love when fans can get a glimpse of our training and offshore races, whether it’s from on the water, onshore or online through videos and social media. Check out our upcoming events, we’d love to see you in the race villages for any of the offshore races where we are competing! Please check back regularly and sign up for our team newsletter — you will hear about our latest whereabouts, our training plans and upcoming events we will be competing in.
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If you have any additional questions, please contact the team at email@example.com