The Rolling O’Lab at the Krys Ocean Race & the Tonnerres de Brest 2012 (13.-15. July 2012)


Imagine racing from New York to Brest (France) – on a sailboat!
The roots of the transatlantic Krys Ocean Race go all the way back to 1866 to a challenge at New York’s Union Club. Over a drink or two some boat owners set the challenge – so the story goes. In the ensuing very first race it took the three schooners 13 days 21 hours and 55 minutes to cross the Atlantic from East to West. The race was re-initiated by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany in 1905 and afterwards it took 75 years to beat the crossing time and bring it down to the new record of 10 days and 5 hours.
This time, the five participant teams were – much as in Olympic sailing races – bound to using the same type of boat: 70 ft (21m) long (or should we say short?) Mod70 Trimarans.
The prologue race started in Rhode Island on 2 July, 120 miles to arrive on America’s Independence Day the Statue of Liberty. The “Race for Water” crew, who intended to deliver the message of water conservation and ocean pollution, won this first stage. Finally, on 7 July, the transatlantic race set off from the feet of Miss Liberty into open waters all the way to Brest.
How long would it take those amazing Trimarans to sail the actual 5285km with lightening speed from one side of the world to the other? Just a mind-blowing 4 days, 21 hours and 37 minutes!
And what a Welcome awaited the teams in France: The arrival was just perfectly timed for the “Tonnerres de Brest”, a huge maritime festival with over 1000 boats, 800.000 visitors and – of course – with the Rolling O-Lab! Among fleets from the Mexican, Russian and Dutch Marine, among dinghies and imposing three-masters, tugs and ocean liners, among decorated sailors and salty sea dogs Oakley proudly presented their OTD Oakley True Digital prescription eyewear, as well as a collection of Oakley Krys Ocean Race Special Edition sunglasses!
This time we focused on the Oakley Crosslink, a new Oakley crossover design that allows – with prescription- or just sun-lenses – to make the change from work to sport via special technology in the frames and style-wise with interchangeable temple designs.
Street artists in sea-themed costumes everywhere, hundreds of thousands of visitors, media – while we are used to superlatives, we have to admit that this was by far the biggest event the Rolling O-Lab participated in!
As for the Krys Ocean Race, next year the revenge race will be held in the opposite direction, from Brest to New York. Maybe we have to ship our Rolling O-Lab over the Atlantic and follow the route of the immigrants to greet Miss Liberty…


Christian Kozlowski


July 26, 2012

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