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Scuttlebutt News:

Rich Wilsonís Open 60 Ready for IMOCA Review
Great American III ten-month refit complete
Media Contact: Dianna Fletcher, Fletcher-Media, (207) 831-8148

(For Immediate Release) August 6, 2007, Portland, Maine: Another major milestone for Rich Wilsonís Great American III (GA III). A 10-month refit project on the Open 60 is complete. The GAIII was launched at Maine Yacht Center in Portland Maine last week, putting Skipper Rich Wilson a step closer in his quest to be the only American to race the 2008 Vendee Globe.

Maine Yacht Center crews hauled the GAIII out of Portland Harbor Thursday. With Rich Wilson and project manager Brian Wilson, the keel was fitted and mast stepped. The ten-month refit project at Maine Yacht Center included substantial stem repairs; removal and modification of the canting keel; rehab of the engine; total replacement of the electrical system as well as a new deck layout with a new pedestal.

MYC General Manager Brian Harris has worked on several international race campaigns with Wilson. Harris is widely considered to be one of the top project managers in the US for the Open 50 and Open 60 class boats.

The next step for the GAIII: certification by IMOCA for the Vendee Globe race. Later this month, the boat will be hoisted out of Portland Harbor for its mandatory measurements and tests for certification.

Then, in November, Wilson, along with co-skipper Mike Birch, will race the GAIII in the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Skipper Rich Wilson, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, is an educator and a sailor. Wilson has three world-record setting voyages to his credit including a voyage from San Francisco to Boston by way of Cape Horn in 1994. The Massachusetts native also founded the Sites Alive Foundation, a non-profit platform for his ongoing educational program Ocean Challenge, a series of educational programs for students worldwide. In 2005, Wilsonís ocean voyages and contributions to education earned him one of sailingís highest honors, the Cruising Club of Americaís (CCA) prestigious Blue Water Medal.

For more information on Rich Wilson and the Sites Alive Foundation, go to

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