Archive for the ‘cruising’ Category

atlantic rally for cruisers

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers Sailing Across the Atlantic

The 25th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) started in spectacular style on Sunday as 233 yachts from 26 nations sailed across the start line off Las Palmas de Gran Canaria heading for their final destination, 2,700 nautical miles away in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia.

The early morning rain and dark clouds cleared away, to be replaced by bright sunshine and the light NE wind filled to provide a reaching start. For the thousands of spectators ashore and afloat it was a picture perfect start to the 25th ARC. After crossing the start line in 8-10 knots and light swell, a colourful display of spinnakers were hoisted to help the yachts on their way. The forecast is for the light north easterlies to continue for the next few days.

Racing Yachts Start First
19 yachts competing in the IRC Racing Division, run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), were first to start, crossing the line towards the south west. The start made for great viewing for spectators ashore, as the yachts passed between committee boat, Spanish naval ship Vancedora, and a laid mark inshore.

The racers made the most of the reaching conditions, and all flew spinnakers for the start. First across the line was Beneteau First 47.7, Alcor V (ITA), followed by Caro (GER), Marisja (NED), We Sail for the Whale (AUT) and Nibani (ITA).

Starting 10 minutes later were the larger boats competing in the 8 strong Invitation Racing Division, also under IRC, and the 6 yachts in the Open Divisions. The Invitation Racing and Open Divisions are for vessels longer than 18.3m (60 feet). Classic 1920s schooner Texel (GBR) crossed the line in stately fashion with multiple sails set, followed by Invitation Racing Division yachts Hagar II (ITA), Venonmous (GBR), Berenice (ITA), Fenix (GBR) and round-the-world veteran Steinlager II (GBR).



Cruising Fleet Make Spectacular Sight
At 1300, the cruising yachts, forming the majority of the fleet, created the now familiar ARC spectacle as 200 boats set off towards Saint Lucia. Almost every popular boatbuilder of the last 40 years is represented in the Cruising Division, including the smallest yacht in ARC 2010, Honningpupp II (NOR) a Comfort 32.

Catamaran First Across the Line
The Cruising Division made a conservative start, hanging back and ensuring each boat had room to manoeuvre. The first yacht to cross the line was catamaran Galop I (FRA), followed by Swan 55 Rita (GER) under spinnaker, Flying Swan (NED), Derbisolar (BEL), Mariposa (GBR) also under spinnaker.

Excitement and Emotion
There was an air of excitement and celebration throughout the marina this morning, as crowds of spectators waved off the fleet. The days of preparations, lists and decisions were finally over, and the crews were ready to do what they came to do; sail across the Atlantic.

The dock was full of well-wishers in carnival mode, cheering and dancing to the loud music blaring out in celebration from Don Pedro’s Texaco dock. Yachts were bid farewell from Las Palmas via loud speakers around the port and Banda Guayadra provided by the Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas (City Hall) marched around the marina serenading every pontoon to add to the festival atmosphere.

Before making their way to the start line the yachts passed through a ‘gate’ so each could be identified. To the delight of the thousands of spectators along the shore, some crews provided entertainment – a Mexican wave from Albatros (GER), bagpipes on Caduceus (GBR), and most popular of all, Croatian yacht Dora left the marina and passed through the ‘gate’ in reverse, while singing Croatian songs accompanied by guitars and maracas.

New York to Barcelona Transatlantic Record

New York to Barcelona Transatlantic Record

Sailing News

Well, March was an interesting month with sailing events around the world, and even a new world sailing record hitting the books. Sailing in Miami, match racing in New Zealand, Around the World boats coming into San Francisco, Plastiki sails out onto the Pacific, and more. There were even some new sailboats and mega yachts launched, including a huge solar powered boat! April is already heating up too, with regattas and sailing record attempts planned on all the coasts.

Youngest Person to Sail Around Cape Horn Solo: Abby Sunderland, one of the two 16 year old girls currently sailing non-stop around the world, achieved a mighty milestone recently. The teenager rounded the infamous Cape Horn, becoming the youngest person ever to sail around the famous landmark alone. Read More: Abby Sunderland

16 Year Old Girl Sailing Around the World: Jessica Watson, the other 16 year old girl sailing around the world non-stop for a sailing record is also doing well, and seem to be counting the miles until she reaches home in Australia. Jessica has now sailed past the 19,000 nautical mile mark of her solo circumnavigation, today is day 170 of her voyage. She said she was happy for Abby the day after her rival went around Cape Horn: “It was great to hear that Abby Sunderland rounded Cape Horn yesterday. I’m really thrilled for her. It brings back lots of memories of when I was down there. Go Abby!” Read More about: Jessica Watson

Sailing in Miami: The annual Miami Grand Prix sailing regatta was marked a success by those who sailed in it again this year.  The competition was tough, but Gold Digger II took the win in IRC. Flash Gordon took it for the Farr 40s, and Teasing Machine beat all the other Melges 32s. Read more: Miami Grand Prix


Sailing in Florida

Louis Vuitton: Emirates Team New Zealand beat the Mascalzone Latino Audi sailing team in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland finals. Next up in America’s Cup sailing is the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena in Sardinia on 22 May 2010. Read More: Louis Vuitton Series

Virgin Islands Regatta – Virgin Islands – Sailboats from around the world gathered in the clear blue Caribbean waters off St. Thomas this past weekend, sailing at the 37th annual International Rolex Regatta. Nearly 70 teams competed this year, sailing all types of boats from little beach cats all the way up to the Frers 80 yacht Kialoa V, which was the largest sailboat in the fleet. Read More: Sailing St.Thomas

Sailing San Francisco

Clipper Race Sailing San Francisco

Clipper Around the World Race:  Under the shadow of darkness the dragon of Qingdao sailed under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay, marking the end of the marathon North Pacific leg of the race from the team’s home port in China. The Chinese entry crossed the Race 7 Noonday Rock finish line near the North Farallone Islands to claim their second podium position of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race. Most of the other Clipper Race yachts have also crossed the San Francisco finish line and are enjoying time in port. Read More: Clipper Race

Sailing Big Boats at St. Barts: Some spectacular yachts were seen racing around the island, participating in a little event known as the St Barths Bucket Regatta. John Williams and his crew on the J-Class Ranger took the overall win at the St. Barths Bucket Regatta, while the Perini Navi yachts Andromeda la Dea and P2 had to settle for second and third respectively. Read More: Yachts Racing in St Barths



Plastiki Sets Sail: After years of development and promises about David de Rothschild’s plastic bottle boat, the Plastiki set sail this month across the Pacific Ocean. De Rothschild hopes the ship’s expedition will bring attention to the global waste problem. “We’re needlessly losing millions of seabirds and hundreds of thousands of marine mammals from ingesting plastic every year, I decided to take this ‘out of sight, out of mind’ problem and build a boat out of the very items that we were seeing ending up in our natural environment.” Read More: Plastiki

Solar Powered Boat: Another “green” boat, Planet Solar, the largest solar powered boat ever built has been unveiled, and will soon be ready to take on the world. At 101 feet long, with 50 feet of beam, this boat is indeed massive enough to be called a mega-yacht, making it the world’s first eco-mega-power-yacht. Read more: Planet Solar



Groupama 3 New World Sailing Record: The trimaran Groupama 3 became the fastest boat to circumnavigate the Earth non-stop, ever* in March. Franck Cammas and crew sailed around the world faster than any other, and earned one of the most important and coveted awards in sailing, the Jules Verne Trophy. Read More: The Fastest Boat Around – Groupama 3

New York-Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record: The New York-Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record begins between April 5th and the 12th from Ambrose Light in New York and will finish in the Barcelona port between April 20th and the 30th. The two competing teams are comprised of Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and the American Stan Schreyer with Estrella Damm, and Pachi Rivero, Antonio Piris and Peter Becker with W Hotels. The New York Yacht Club, which is collaborating with the project, has picked Edward Cesare as a reserve skipper for both teams. — Read More: NY-BYC

World Match Racing Tour: Looking forward, April 6th sees the start of the World Match Racing Tour culminating in crowning the ISAF Match Racing World Champion at the end of  10 international events. This year’s Tour starts on Tuesday in Marseille with ‘Match Race France’ running from April 6-11, at Yacht Club Pointe Rouge.  This is the second time Marseille has hosted the WMRT, the area is blessed with excellent match racing courses and is a much-loved destination for the global stars of the sailing world. Read More: World Match Racing Tour

Read More: Sailing News


Cruising in Greece by Klearchos Kapoutsis

The lovely cruising grounds in Greece. This photo is of a sailboat at Porto Koufo, Sithonia, Halkidiki, Greece.  The area of Halkidiki is very famous for its beaches and also has the reputation to have some of the best beaches of Greece.

The Halkidiki beaches are like tropical ones with amazing crystal-clear blue or turquoise waters and long white fine sandy beaches. Halkidiki is combining those paradisiacal beaches with incredible dense vegetation and forest. The most famous beaches of Halkidiki are Kallithea, Neos Marmaras and Vourvourou.


Posted: December 29, 2009 in boat, boating, boats, cruising, sailboats, sailing, yacht, yachting, yachts

Cruising by Don Gato

Cruising Photo: Cruising in Guatemala

Yacht anchored in the Rio Dulce in Guatemala.

Geoff Holt

Disabled Sailor Geoff Holt by OCVision

Record-breaking disabled sailor Geoff Holt is starting on his 2,700 mile journey to cross the Atlantic. Returning to the scene of the accident that paralysed him 25 years ago, Geoff is sailing across some of the most hostile waters in the world on his 60 foot catamaran sailboat Impossible Dream. If he makes it, he will be the first quadriplegic sailor to make the journey, unassisted in every aspect of the sailing.

This is not Geoff Holt’s first time in the spotlight. In 2007, Geoff sailed his way into the record books when he completed his Personal Everest when he became the first disabled yachtsman to sail single-handed around Great Britain.

Geoff says that this will be his first time he will be away from his wife Elaine and 7 year old son Tim at Christmas time, but he will not be spending it alone as whilst Geoff is a vastly experienced yachtsman he does need someone to help with his personal care. New Zealand born, Susana Scott who has specialist skills in caring for those with a high-level disability will provide care for Geoff, but will have no input into the sailing.

Geoff explains why this is such a personal challenge, ‘I’ve been living off the memories. I now want to relive the experience. It seems right to sail back to Cane Garden Bay in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands as this is where I had my accident. I will be returning as a quadriplegic yachtsman and it is a personal challenge where I feel I will be closing the circle from having my accident and returning again as a yachtsman.’

Read an interview with Geoff Holt here: Geoff Holt Interview

Women Sailing

Women Sailing by Rampant Gian

Sailing Photo of the Day: Sailing with the Girls

Sailing isn’t all rough weather and burly dudes. Sometimes it’s nice to kick back and enjoy a day out sailing with the girls. Who needs real work when you can work on your tan. Screw the economy – let’s go sailing!

Now you know what they mean when they call us “sailing bums”.

Although we like to keep or bikinis on, we hear there are some who do away with clothing all together while sailing and like to go boating completely naked. At least that’s the story at Yachtpals this week: Naked Boating

What naughty yachties!

Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson’s Gets a Beating Sailing to Sydney

16 year old sailor Jessica Watson’s trial voyage to Sydney is giving her a taste of the massive challenge she’ll face on her bid to sail single-handed around the world solo. The young girl has battled three-metre waves on her shakedown run from Queensland’s Gold Coast to Sydney after having abandoned an earlier attempt last month when her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady collided with a cargo ship. The Australian teenager set sail, for her trial run, on her second attempt at daybreak last Thursday and expects to reach Sydney on Monday.

Jessica plans to sail around the world in a bid to become the youngest sailor to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe. Jessica Watson’s mum, Julie Watson, updated her website last night to report that her daughter had been coping with strong southerlies and a heavy swell. “Jess called in this evening to say that she has 23 knots of southerlies and has three-metre steep seas,” Ms Watson said. “She sounds good and has been busy checking her equipment and systems.” Jessica cooked her own breakfast yesterday morning then lived on sandwiches, honeycomb and apples for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, her parents remain totally committed to their daughter’s cause even after a damning Maritime Safety Queensland report into Jessica Watson’s collision with the 63,000-tonne vessel off North Stradbroke Island.

The report said Jessica had kept “irregular latitude and longitude entries” in her log, had no course plots nor a fatigue management plan. It also said she most likely “dozed off” and that she had not activated an alarm device which would have warned her of the approaching ship.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh even weighed into the debate. “This is a very high-risk venture. Frankly, it’s one that I would be reconsidering, but ultimately it’s a decision for them (the family),” she said after the report’s release.

Jessica’s spokesman Andrew Fraser says believes the tide of support has turned in her favour. Mr Fraser said yesterday the 16-year-old has been flooded with encouraging messages on her internet blog. “We’re getting 114,000 hits a day on the website and I’d say 95 per cent of the blogs and emails are messages of support. “She’s very brave and mature for a 16-year-old. With everything that’s happened, it has made her even more resilient. “She’s had 30 knot winds and two-and-a-half metre swells,” Mr Fraser said. “It’s nothing compared to what she’s going to get in the Southern Ocean but it’s a good test for the boat, the rigging and Jess’s experience.”

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