NEW Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges website Live!

April 8th, 2015

Visit today and keep up to date with opportunities to go sailing offshore this spring and summer as well as news coming for the transatlantic in the fall. If you are looking for a Caribbean Regatta experience we are accepting applications for the prestigious RORC Caribbean 600 and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in February and March, 2016.




December 29th, 2014


Join the VOLVO 60 MKIII SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE for the Gill Commodores Cup and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta March 2nd – 9th, 2015.

After arriving in St. Maarten on March 2nd the sailing team will start with a two full days of safety and sail training aboard the Volvo 60 in preparation for the Gill Commodore’s Cup.

The first day of racing is separate from the Heineken regatta results, allowing sailors to practice and perfect their racing without influencing the main event results. The Commodore’s Cup has been sponsored by Gill for the past 6 years and adds another dimension to the already multifaceted St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.

These events are a unique blend of international sailing talent, with boats from as far away as Russia and Brazil; and musical talent the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, the Marley Brothers, Maxi Priest, Wyclef Jean and this year with Cool & the Gang! Nowhere else in the world will you find such a sailing event, each day brings new finish locations, new and unique party atmospheres and bands from around the world.

Five days of world class racing and nights of fun-filled Heineken parties will take place and offers something for everyone. Participants and guests enjoy great food, ice cold beers and international music performers each night. With the official slogan being Serious Fun, it is no wonder people come from over 25 countries to attend this one of a kind regatta.

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, which will celebrate its 35th anniversary, had over two hundred entries in 2014 and looks forward to hosting just as many participating boats in 2015. It is known as one of the must do events in the Caribbean whether you attend for the sailing or the concerts, you won’t want to miss it.

Join us for the 35th edition of the Gill Commodore Cup and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, March 5 – 8, 2015!

Nowhere else in the world will you find such an event; each day brings challenging races, new and unique party atmospheres and bands from around the world.

Caribbean racing aboard a world class VOLVO 60 MKIII with three time round the world single handed racer Derek Hatfield; this could be you. Individual or whole boat charter available.

Contact us at or by phone at +1-902-529-2626


MAR    2 – 10       SINT MAARTEN HEINEKEN REGATTA – extra sailing included from Antigua to Sint Maarten and back to Antigua after the regatta, not mandatory but serious fun.


APRIL 25              ANTIGUA TO LUNENBURG – 1900NM

MAY 14                 LUNENBURG – BERMUDA 727nm – 2 days of training – 5 days of sailing

MAY 24                BERMUDA – LUNENBURG 727nm








MAR 3-11       SINT MAARTEN HEINEKEN REGATTA – includes optional delivery from Antigua to Sint Maarten and return after the regatta.

APRIL 28       ANTIGUA TO LUNENBURG – 1900nm sail north passing Bermuda and through the Gulf Stream to one of the prettiest fishing ports in the world; Lunenburg, N.S.

The VOLVO 60 SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE is available for individual or whole boat charter.  All training provided, no experience required.
Contact: or Patianne @ + 1 902 529 2626



December 15th, 2014

Team SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE aboard the Volvo 60 finished the first ever RORC Transatlantic Race in the early hours this morning in Port Louis Marina, Grenada. After 14 days of racing the grey hull coasted around the bottom of the Island this morning to be the 6th boat to finish the race off of Morne Rouge Beach on the lea side of the Island. Five boats are still at sea with Nomad IV having commenced racing once again after pulling back into the Canary Islands for a repair to a broken boom on the newly launched Finot Conq 100′ racing machine.

This finish puts the team in second place in IRC Zero division, for the amateur crew who have never sailed together this was the event of a lifetime, a real bucket list item for most sailors and these brave men and women completed the course. The trade winds didn’t set in through this entire race due to constant storms further north in the Atlantic so this was strictly a downwind race, not optimal for a boat that was designed to reach but the team held if together and are now enjoying some R&R on the lovely Island of Grenada before returning home for Christmas.

Derek and the team will be at the Toronto and Vancouver Boat Shows in January to once again update visitors on the next round the world race as well as how the team training events available during the winter Caribbean season and spring time on the Atlantic.

Congratulations to the whole sailing team; Derek Hatfield, Chris Stanmore-Major, Grant Gordon, Mike Robbins, Gerry Vandergrift, Alan Rothenbush, Ed Rees, Mike Visser, Aurelie Cebe, Paul Chouinard, Michel Gagnon, Axel Hussein, Eric Gouin & Steefan Persoons.

Spinnakers at the Ready: Day Two – Morning Report

December 1st, 2014

The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), started on Sunday 30th November 1000 UTC from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, Canary Islands bound for Grenada, West Indies, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

After a competitive start the fleet have been battling through the first night to negotiate the fastest passage through the Canary Islands and into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The entire fleet chose the northerly route through the channel between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and once again north of Tenerife. The northerly route puts the fleet nearer the fresh breeze coming from the north rather than south where an area of little wind has developed. The rhumb line goes straight through Tenerife but the highest point, Mount Teide, has an elevation of 3,718 m (12,198ft), which would give a significant wind shadow to any yachts that ventured south.

IRC Canting Keel and Zero

Derek Hatfield’s Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure, is estimated to be the early leader after time correction for the IRC Zero fleet. Rating far lower than the Maxi yachts in the class, Spirit of Adventure‘s lead is not surprising after less than 24 hours at sea; the Canadian team are highly experienced with six of the crew having raced the boat across the Atlantic before. The crew have settled in after a challenging first day at sea. “The sea state was pretty difficult after days and days of high winds”, said the Canadian skipper. “We are looking forward to the trade winds with the spinnaker at the ready”.

Jeremy Pilkington’s RP78, Lupa of London. have used their ‘wompa’ Code Zero to great effect, sailing high and fast across the top of Tenerife to take the overall lead on the water during the night. At dawn, Lupa of London was 40 miles from the last island, La Palma, achieving a boat speed over twice as fast as the Finot 100, Nomad IV, sailed by Jean-Paul Riviere. It will be interesting to see the tactics employed by Lupa of London at La Palma. Further behind, the young team on American Class40, Oakcliff Racing, have also altered course to follow Lupa of London‘s track.

IRC One, Two and Three

Aref Lahham’s Swan 68, Yacana, is the clear leader in IRC One and is currently estimated to be leading the race after time correction. Most of the team hail from Greece and have sailed with each other for years and this understanding was exemplified at the start, when a spinnaker peel was pulled off with precision, to gain a big advantage. During the first night, the wind speed and direction has been in a constant state of flux and Team Yacana may well have gained the lead through good sail changing decisions and slick crew work.

Last night, Yacana sent this message from on board: “We have good wind with a few slow moments, otherwise we are doing fine. Spirits are good, thank God no rain…We are leaving the Island of Tenerife eight miles on our port and plan to be in the open ocean in about 16 hours, then heading to Grenada. Cheers to all.” – S/Y Yacana.

A tremendous battle kicked off right from the start in IRC Two, Frank Lang’s French X 40, Optim’X, sailed intelligently to take the lead from Nigel Passmore’s British J/133, Apollo 7, at the start, which the French team held right along the coast of Lanzarote. Apollo 7, mainly crewed by friends from Plymouth, took a slender lead after passing the southern tip of Lanzarote and unfurled their Code Zero to open up a three mile lead on their rivals by dawn. Optim’X has a small rating advantage over Apollo 7 and this may develop into one of the closest battles in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Denis Villotte’s French JNP 12, Sérénade, is currently bringing up the rear, but estimated to be fourth overall after time correction. The twin keel design is the smallest and lightest yacht in the race and, with just three crew on board, is more suited to the downwind conditions that should feature in the race over the coming days.

Nigel Passmore reports from the course on Apollo 7: “We are round the top of Tenerife and en route to La Palma with a welcome to offshore Atlantic sailing more like the English Channel! Rain, waves and wind shifts. Still heading in the right direction with a good breeze. Crew are happy and settling in. Very much waterline length at the moment.”

Sail choice and boat handling have been the major factors to performance at this early stage in the race. Getting into the open waters of the Atlantic first pays high dividend as more wind is expected for the leaders. Just a few hours difference can turn into enough miles for leading yachts to disappear over the horizon. All of the fleet should pass La Palma into the Atlantic today, raising spinnakers which should be flying for the foreseeable future. After days of confused weather systems, the Trade Winds are forecast to re-establish over the coming days. Downwind racing, surfing down Atlantic rollers with the sun on your back – it doesn’t get a lot better than that.

join our mailing list
* indicates required
Enter your email address below to sign up for regular updates.


View current list of Around Together Crew

Follow Spirit of Canada

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter