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Alex Alley (50)

London, England, UK

  • Sponsor Hunting

    October 12, 2010 12:28

    Well I have just got back from a 2 week cruise across Biscay and around the canaries, Spain and Portugal before returning to Southampton.
    Probably the nicest and most comfortable crossing of the Bay of Biscay ever! However I wasn’t there for a holiday, I was invited on as a guest speaker to talk about my sailing experiences and the up coming People’s Boat campaign. It was all very well received too, with only standing room left in the theatre. Very pleasant.

    Sponsorship hunting is an altogether different experience – compared to getting the funds together, racing around the planet again is a piece of cake! All it takes is getting to talk to the right person. The number of times I have got to the marketing department of a company only to be told by the PA that it is not for them! However when I do get to the right person, it gets even more frustrating… I have been told now on several occasions that ‘…we love your campaign and the idea behind it, especially the charity element, and the money isn’t even an issue, however we can’t be seen to be sponsoring something like this when we are laying off staff!!!’ – Frustrating is not the word!

    For those that know me, I don’t do ‘giving up’, and on that note I have been asked to give a talk at RORC in London later this month to a select few high flyers from the city about the campaign. Fingers crossed there will be a sponsor among them somewhere and we can get on with getting the boat and preparing for the race next year.

    People say it is luck, but I find that the harder I work the luckier I get! Maybe there is something in that….

  • Wight Vodka - latest sponsor

    July 12, 2010 08:56


    The People’s Boat are pleased to announce that UK based Wight Vodka have signed up as a bronze sponsor and their logo is already up on the virtual boat on the People’s Boat website.

    Claim your FREE bottle of Wight Vodka:
    In order to say thank you to other sponsors, the first 5 people/companies spending £150 or more on squares on the People’s Boat will receive a FREE bottle of Wight Vodka (must be over 18 and based in the UK). All you have to do is goto the People’s Boat website and click on ‘Buy Pixels’ then simply follow the instructions onscreen to upload your image, then you can pay through Paypal or with a credit card, or email us at sales@peoplesboat.com.

    A few facts about Wight Vodka:
    Wight Vodka is distilled seven times, which is definitely over the top, but produces ultra pure spirit.
    Rumour has it that the day after isn’t that bad due to the distillation process!
    It’s the only vodka I can take straight up or on the rocks like a great Scotch
    It’s based on potato spirit, which is inherently smoother than 99% of the other vodkas that are made from grain spirit.
    The team at 50 North are totally committed to the yachting scene, and it’s great to have their support!
    As well as Wight Vodka, there are several other notable sponsors including Bath Sailing Club and Eventus.

    There will be a press release shortly as well as a copy of the article going out in ‘Prime Location’ magazine which has a circulation of over 1.2m subscribers.

    Watch this space…

  • France at Last

    June 28, 2010 08:25


    Well we eventually made it to the boatyard in Nantes, up the Loire river, where Palanad is to have a survey.
    The trip began on Friday morning at Hamble Yacht services with Tim and I getting the boat ready for the 350 mile trip. Plenty of fuel would be needed as the forecast was for light Northerly winds over the next few days. Sails collected from North Sails lock up and stacked on the boat and the Fuizion food packed away.
    After shuffling a couple of boats around so that we could make it out, we left mid morning and motored off to refuel, stocking up with an extra couple of 10L cans.
    Great conditions (for motoring anyway) as we headed out past the Needles and set course of 230 degrees towards the NW corner of France.
    The crossing itself was pretty uneventful, apart from having to change the impeller on the engine as the old one gave up the ghost and the engine began to overheat! We also noticed a small amount of water behind the aft watertight bulkhead – above the rudders. Not too concerned as it probably came in through the holes in the deck left while the push-pit was off. However now a new one was fitted that was no longer an issue.
    After a round of lovely freeze dried Chicken Jalfrezi , it was time for me to get an hour of kip. When I woke however, things were not quite right! Apart from the usual noise of water rushing past the hull, there was an ominous sloshing noise coming from the back of the boat. On further investigation I could see an awful lot of water behind the watertight bulkhead, through the clear plastic hatch.
    Up on deck Tim and I then spent about an hour bailing out a few hundred litres of sea water! Obviously it was not coming in through the deck. As the water level was reduced we could see the source of the problem. Just in front of the port rudder, water was bubbling up through the hull – not a good sign. Was the hull fractured? We gybed over and filled the starboard ballast tanks to heel the boat and keep the rudder out of the water while we investigated some more. There was a small round hole just in front of the rudder stock. While in the States having the rudders worked on, the small stainless steel weed cutters had been removed and not replaced. the holes had been filled, but it seemed that during the work, one of the plugs had been dislodged. Out with the Sika and very soon the whole area was dried out and the offending hole filled – no more water problems.

    We made good progress across the shipping lanes and caught the tide gates at the Chanel du Four and the Raz du Seine – just! The wind filling in occasionally over Saturday night meant that we could sail again and were making a healthy 12 knots through the water, but fuel was getting low and we still had well over 100 miles to go to the mouth of the Loire and then a 25 mile motor up the river – we were going to have to stop for more fuel.
    A quick pit stop at the small marina on Belle Ile and we now had enough fuel to motor the rest of the way. But now time was against us, as we needed to be at the crane lift in Nantes for 1800. It was touch and go as we motor sailed trying to get the best out of Palanad.
    Someone must have been smiling on us as once again the wind filled in and we managed to keep the sails up all the way to the boatyard. Arriving right at the top of the tide. Tim made a great job of squeezing the boat in the slipway under the crane. With a 3m draft, it was going to be close as the boat slowly rose out of the water – the keel seemingly going on for ever. As the crane lifted as high as it could, right to the stops, the keel was only 2" clear of the ground!

    After getting the rest of our kit off the boat, and having a well earned beer (or maybe 2!) we grabbed a nights kip in a hotel before flying back to the UK in the morning.

    The next thing, after a sponsor meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) is to sort out a contract with Palanads owner and then hopefully get her back to the UK as soon as possible and begin the ‘on the water’ side of the People’s Boat campaign.

  • Latest News

    May 20, 2010 12:17

    Well what a whirlwind the last 10 days have been!

    It started with a shorthanded training weekend with Brian Thompson and the team at SORC. Based out of Haslar marina in Gosport it was a really well run few days with a good mix of classroom and on the water sessions. I was acting as co-skipper for a friend who is preparing for the AZAB race next year in which he intends to do the outbound leg to the Azores single handed and then the return leg two handed – good luck with that one Rob…

    Over the weekend I was receiving various emails from a couple of new potential sponsors, Sailing Networks and Dream Sailing. By the end of the weekend both had agreed to become sponsors of the campaign and already their logo’s are on the website. Both of the new sponsors are also promoting the campaign to their customers, Dream Sailing in the high end charter market and Sailing Networks to their own global network of members which totals over 40,000. This campaign thrives on coverage, so thanks guys for helping out. The campaign website as always is www.peoplesboat.com where you can see the virtual boat and the current sponsors.

    Earlier in the week I got a call out of the blue from a well known Yachting publication interested in running an article on the campaign, so we will see what happens with that one, but it looks very promising.

    On the boat front, GBR43 returned from the USA on Friday and I was able to be re-united with her, my first time on board since racing back from the Azores. This is the boat we are hoping to secure for the Global Ocean Race next year and talks are well underway with the current owner – fingers crossed and watch this space. Once we have secured the boat and moved it to our base then we will be able to start with our corporate hospitality program of sailing days. Apart from sponsorship these sailing days are important to us to help us run the campaign.

    And finally…

    Last night I was asked if I could do an interview for a very high end lifestyle / property company. Each month they produce a magazine that is available by subscription only. Next month will be a feature on the People’s Boat campaign going out to over 1.2 million people. Now that’s what I call coverage and something we could only have dreamed of a few weeks ago. Great news for us and also for all those already with us.

    Last thing for me to do is say a great big THANK YOU to all those who have already sponsored us and for those that haven’t, then come on and get onboard – especially before the big story next month!

  • Latest Sponsor

    May 19, 2010 14:54


    Dream Sailing

    The latest sponsor to appear on the side of the People’s Boat is luxury charter company Dream Sailing.
    Based in the South of France, owners Michelle and Alan take a real pride in what they do. Their fleet of three 55’ Jeanneau yachts and the 90’ Dark Star make for an impressive line up. They also have an 84’ yacht under construction and like the rest of the fleet it is specified to the highest level. They also have access to some of the biggest and best yachts in the world. Each boat comes fully crewed so there is no need to get involved with the sailing – unless of course you want to.
    Why crewed charter? Well it offers privacy and exclusivity as well as fun and excitement. Each boat has a full selection of ‘toys’ including rib and water-sport equipment.
    The fleet is either owned by Dream Sailing or exclusively managed by them, so you will not find the boats anywhere else.

    To get involved as well, go tohttp://www.peoplesboat.com and add your logo or picture to the boat.