Howdens Sponsors Golden Globe Race Skipper Simon Curwen

by Francesca

Howdens, the UK’s number one trade kitchen supplier, is sponsoring sailor Simon Curwen as he competes in one of the World’s most sustainable sailing competitions, the Golden Globe Race.

The Golden Globe Race is returning for the second time since its inception in 1968, having last been held on its 50th anniversary in 2018, where 5 sailors successfully completed the race. With sustainability at the heart of the race it will see Simon along with 16 other competitors race solo non-stop across four oceans, primarily relying on wind and solar energy, as well the force of the sea to power their vessels.

Experienced yachtsman and environmental enthusiast, Simon, will take on the challenge without using modern technology such as GPS, satellites, or smart phones, in a refurbished vessel as the race prioritises protecting the environment, for every litre of diesel used participants are awarded a two-hour time penalty.

Departing from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, the event will cover 30,000 miles and is expected to take between 220-300 days. In the history of the event there has only ever been six finishers to complete the entire course.

Speaking of the sponsorship, Mark Slater, Commercial Director, Howdens, said: “We are incredibly excited to be partnering with Simon as he embarks upon this gruelling challenge. The race encourages sailors to push their skills to the limit without relying on advanced equipment, and the focus on sustainability echoes Simon’s passion for the planet, which we also share in the way we run our business.

“From sourcing and manufacturing, through to waste management and distribution, sustainability is central to Howdens. Partnering with Simon who shares our values and attitudes towards the environment is a great way of advocating this message, and we wish him the best of luck as he races across the world.”

Howdens’ vision is to become the UK’s leading sustainable kitchen and joinery supplier, its ‘Road to Zero’ plan aims for the business to operate by creating zero emissions and zero waste.  In 2021 the business achieved carbon-neutral manufacturing at its sites in Howden, Yorkshire and Runcorn in Cheshire in 2021, with 100% of production waste being re-used, recovered, or recycled, and 99% of depot waste avoiding landfill.

Simon Curwen, Golden Globe Race skipper, adds: “This event is like no other, it’s the longest and loneliest race that exists. Harnessing only the power of the wind and sun while surviving the harsh conditions of great oceans is going to be an incredible challenge.

“Howdens’ support will help to inspire future generations, just as I was inspired some 50 years ago by the first Golden Globe Race. Their values around sustainability and protecting the environment are closely aligned with my own, and I am proud to have them on board as I embark on this journey.”

Simon has worked in Environmental protection for over 30 years, specialising in the investigation and clean up of contaminated land. As an experienced and competitive Offshore Yachtsman, Simon has competed in five Fastnet Races, winning the double-handed class in 2007, finishing second in the 2001 Mini Transat from La Rochelle to Salvador de Bahia, and was also runner up to Ellen MacArthur in the YJA Yachtsman of the Year in 2001.

The Golden Globe Race departs from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France on September 4th, 2022 and continues non-stop around the world, via the three Great Capes before returning to Les Sables-d’Olonne.

Earlier this year, Howdens committed to set near- and long-term companywide emissions reduction targets in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), and since 2021 Howdens has been a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Working with these organisations helps to strengthen and guide its commitment to the circular economy, sustainability, and the environment.

To find out more about Howdens’ commitment to sustainability and its ‘Road to Zero’ plan visit

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