Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Earthquake appeal by the Chilean Class40 skipper, Felipe Cubillos

Devastation in Chile following the recent earthquake - Photo courtesy of Associated Press
Reports from the BBC record 795 fatalities from the earthquake that shook Chile on Saturday 27th February. Local authorities also estimate that 2 million Chileans have been seriously affected by the quake and around 1.5 million homes have been damaged in the worst natural disaster to devastate the country in 50 years. The Chilean Class40 skipper, Felipe Cubillos, is already involved with relief work in the Sexta Región south of Valparaiso and Santiago and is making an appeal for aid on behalf of his countrymen.

“The tremendous earthquake that has whipped our beautiful land reminds us once again that Chile is a country of extremes,” explained Cubillos on Tuesday. “A country that is accustomed to the greatest forces of nature and with a population whose enormous heart enables her to keep standing upright with pride and dignity.” In the 2008-09 Portimão Global Ocean Race, Cubillos and his co-skipper, José Muñoz, sailed their Class40 Desafio Cabo De Hornos around the world, entering the record books as the first Chileans to race around Cape Horn. “During the race, we learnt a lesson that we will never forget,” he continues. “You are never going to conquer or dominate the forces of nature, but the important thing is to have the strength to get back up when nature’s power has beaten you to the ground.”

The 18th of March marks one year since Cubillos, Muñoz and Desafio Cabo de Hornos sailed around Chile’s southernmost territory at Cape Horn and the date was to be celebrated by the launch of Cubillos’ book about the circumnavigation, ‘Sueños de Alta Mar’ (Dreams of the High Seas). While the official book launch is likely to be delayed, Cubillos will be donating all the income from ‘Sueños de Alta Mar’ to help his countrymen. The book is in Spanish and provides a stunning pictorial record of the double-handed circumnavigation.

Meanwhile, Cubillos and a team are preparing to head into the coastal zone of Sexta Región. “We have managed to obtain some trucks and we need resources to buy milk, water, food and plastic sheeting to cover the damaged houses,” confirms the Chilean skipper. “If some of you want to pre-order the book and contribute to the aid fund, please get in touch.” Felipe can be contacted via email at cubillos@senegocia.com The book is available at a minimum price of $50:00.