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UPS Systems MD wins ARC yacht race with fuel cell power on board

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UPS Systems managing director, Tom Sperrey, and his crew have been declared winners of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) racing division. Tom and crew crossed the finishing line on 8 December having sailed his boat ‘Nightlife' from Gran Canaria to St. Lucia. A portable fuel cell on board provided auxiliary power.

The annual transatlantic race is part of the largest ocean sailing event in the world, attracting over 200 yachts each year. The race starts in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and covers 2,700 nautical miles, finishing in Rodney Bay St. Lucia. Nightlife, skippered by Tom Sperrey, won the RORC IRC Racing Division of ARC 2009 and the crew received its winner's trophy in front of 800 people at the prize giving ceremony.

Nightlife had on board an EFOY 1600 methanol fuel cell. The unit generated 65W of electricity to power the navigation, computer and communications equipment.

"After being at sea for 16 days, we were absolutely delighted to reach St. Lucia and discover we had won the race," said Tom Sperrey. "The fuel cell performed incredibly well, even under the hostile conditions of the mid-Atlantic. It's perfect for sailing as it provided us with a quiet, clean, compact and reliable source of power that lasted for the whole trip. There isn't much equipment on a boat that doesn't require maintenance, but we didn't have to worry about the fuel cell. Using the fuel cell for the communications equipment meant we didn't have to keep powering up the boat's diesel engine to re-charge the batteries."

More information on the race can be found at: www.worldcruising.com/arc.

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