2014 Offshore training aboard Spirit of Adventure revealed

July 19th, 2013

“…Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. So toss off the bow lines…..” Mark Twain

From Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges comes a very unique opportunity for individuals with all levels of sailing ability to go offshore with not one but two round the world racing skippers; Derek Hatfield and Chris Stanmore-Major.

Derek Hatfield has represented Canada in three races around the world (solo) and has over 200,000nm of offshore sailboat racing aboard his signature open boats called Spirit of Canada.

The newest member of the Ocean Challenges Team is Chris Stanmore-Major. Chris has raced around the world twice; once as skipper aboard Qingdao in the Clipper Round the world race then once again aboard the Open 60 Spartan in the VELUX 5 Oceans single-handed round the world race. Chris brings a massive amount to knowledge in not just sailing but sail training to the team, he is also an RYA / MCA commercially endorsed ocean master.

Sailing aboard Spirit of Adventure a Volvo 60 (formerly Amer Sports One from the Volvo Ocean Race 2001) with trips to or from Bermuda, St. Pierre et Miquelon, Antigua and the Canary Islands. These events are now planned through to Fall 2014 and are filling up quickly. Come explore the North Atlantic and experience for yourself the sheer exhilaration and sense of accomplishment that comes with completing an ocean passage with not just one world-class skipper but two!

This is the chance for you to go with Derek and Chris and benefit from their experience while sailing on an extended offshore passage aboard one of the safest and fastest boats in the world. You will learn how it is that these boats are sailed offshore and be given the chance to participate in the daily routine. You do not have to be a seasoned offshore sailor to go on one of these sessions, better that you are just trying to either improve your sailing ability and experience or just trying to stretch your limits during the offshore passage. You can expect to learn such things as how to deal with sleep deprivation, the offshore diet, proper sail selection and trim.

This is the experience of a lifetime for most people who want have always wanted to go offshore.


The sea is the great equalizer, executives, housewives, bus drivers, surgeons; everyone is equal on the sea. Short, tall, big or small the sea will help develop a healthy respect for the things that can be changed and the things that must merely be survived. This is an experience that can change you forever.

To complete an ocean passage on a Volvo 60 there must be strong team work, leadership, communication regardless of backgrounds, motivations or past experiences and the appreciation of this task well done is not to be undermined. There will be professional crew aboard the boat to instruct and advise but each sailor has to show up in their own right and participate, challenge themselves and forever change their limits. For some this will be the biggest challenge they have ever taken part of and for others this will be stepping stone to bigger adventures with their own boat.

Either way the chance to be on the sea in a world class boat with world class sailors is the adventure of a lifetime.

While aboard the crew will be instructed in or learn about the following:

Sail Handling
Sleep Patterns
Safety at sea
Sail selection
Psychological factors
Communication devices
Medical emergency procedures

2014 Ocean Sailing Dates

Antigua – Lunenburg May (1800nm) – 3 positions available
Lunenburg – Bermuda (4-5days)
Bermuda – Lunenburg (727nm)
Route Halifax – St. Pierre (France) Ocean Race
Lunenburg to Canary Islands (2800nm)
RORC Transatlantic Race Lanzarote, Canary Islands to Grenada

Please contact us for more information or to book one of these sessions.
By email: sail@spiritofcanada.net
Phone: +1.902.531.2532
skype: spiritofcanada.net

Discounts are given to teams or groups of people.


April 4th, 2013

Hello from Spirit of Canada

Busy 2013 and 2014 Training Season Ahead

The Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges team has had a busy winter season marketing the new training and racing programs; attending boat shows, conducting presentations and preparing the two ocean racers for the upcoming busy offshore training season. The Open 60 Spirit of Canada will soon be launched from its in-ground slip at East River Marine and tuned up for the first training run to Bermuda. The Volvo 60 Amer Sports One is currently in Cartagena, Spain preparing for the Spain to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia transatlantic sail/delivery at the end of April. After arriving in Canada, the Volvo 60 will go through a minor refit before the summer training season.

The training sessions are not only a great way for Derek and the team to stay in shape but a great personal challenge for people just like you who want to experience an ocean passage in a safe, reliable and trusted offshore sailboat. This truly is a world-class adventure with world-class skippers aboard podium finishing boats.

Something like a holiday where you leave with more than you came with.

For a full list of dates and availability please contact us at sail@spiritofcanada.net or call us at 902.529.2626.

Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges offshore training program continues to develop with the addition of RYA sailing courses and the introduction of Safety at Sea Seminars at the beginning of each offshore session. The Safety at Sea seminars will provide participants an opportunity to experience first-hand safety procedures involving life rafts and critical safety gear required for ocean passages.

Happy Sailing,


“Sailing one of these boats offshore is not like a cruise or charter, it’s not particularly fun or relaxing; it is however and experience in team work & adventure that you will never forget.”

The Volvo 60 Amer Sports One to join the 2014 Caribbean Winter Circuit

The Caribbean regattas offer the perfect combination of competition, enjoyment and international flare to a very long winter.

The year starts for us with the 6th edition of the Caribbean 600; this is the first offshore race to circumnavigate the Caribbean Islands; it runs from February 24th. The Caribbean 600 is a world-class endurance race and is not easy lasting for about 3 days sailors need commitment and enthusiasm to do well. During the course of the training and the race itself participants will develop and use sailing and communication skills and will find the campaign a personal challenge, but also immensely satisfying when completed. Ocean Challenges aims to make sure that everyone has fun, stays safe and enjoys the challenge.
Starting just off Fort Charlotte, just outside English Harbor in Antigua, the fleet will head north; pass marks off Barbuda, Nevis, Saba and St Barth’s before circling St Maarten and head south for Guadeloupe. Finally heading back north to a mark off Barbuda, returning to Antigua for the finish; 10 legs and 600 Nautical Miles of racing in fantastic trade wind conditions with spectacular scenery. The turquoise sea and trade winds produces exhilarating sailing conditions and whales, dolphins and turtles are a common sight. By night, sailors will race in warm Caribbean breezes under a carpet of stars, seldom seen with such clarity make this event one of the most popular offshore races in the world. All should expect to race around the course in a brisk breeze and warm seas. The racecourse around the Caribbean is the ultimate sailor’s playground.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

The 2014 Heineken Regatta is the 34th edition of the race. This international event plays host to more than 32 countries and close to 200 entries, making it the largest regatta in the Region! What could be better than racing in the Tropical sun with crystal clear water and ice cold Heinekens? Nothing!

Over the years thousand of sailor have graced the shore of this ideal location, don’t be left out in the cold from some of the best sailing in the Caribbean.

Voile de St. Barth April 7-12th

The 5th edition of this very competitive event starts with boat arrivals and crew parties on the 7th of April, 2014. Racing commences on the 9th and 10th with a crew party after the 2nd day of racing then a well deserved “day off” at the St. Jean Beach on the 11th. Two more days of racing then a spectacular light and sound show then awards and big end of regatta party.

Antigua Sailing Week April 26-May 2nd

Hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club this is a bucket list event for all sailors.
During the last week of April each year, yachts from all over the world arrive in English and Falmouth Harbours to participate in one of the world’s premier sailing events, Antigua Sailing Week. From small beginnings this regatta has developed over 45 years to become one of the preeminent yacht racing events in the Caribbean. Its international status ensures its ongoing fame worldwide. Over 100 yachts participate each year, ranging in size from 24 to over 100 feet. The Regatta attracts serious racing boats including state-of-the-art, high-tech racing machines, along with a variety of performance cruising and cruising boats.
The sight of all these yachts, both from vantage points on the shore and from spectator boats carrying onlookers alongside the races, is unforgettable. The reputation of Antigua Sailing Week allows the event to attract some of the world’s top racing yachts including in 2012 Geoff Hill’s Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes, Jan Rupert’s Tripp 75 Blackbird, Stefan Lehnert’s 56-foot Passion 4 C and, once again, Peter Harrison’s 115-foot Sojana.

For five days crews are challenged with a variety of coastal race courses encouraging tacking duels around the buoys – all set on the deep blue Caribbean Sea with the ever-present trade winds. It’s a picture perfect setting that is enhanced as the evening colours brighten the western sky and the sunburnt, salt-encrusted, weary sailors make their way to the bbq, steel bands and rum punches. While hundreds of locals and visitors carry on partying well into the evening, many of the yacht crews know there is another day of racing out there and so they leave the late night revelry for the others to finish.

After the week of ever-exciting racing, Antigua Sailing Week draws to a close in the romantic historic Nelson’s Dockyard with the final awards presentation attended by Antigua’s government representatives alongside the owners and skippers of the yachts with their crews, friends, well-wishers and race officials.

This exciting event is followed the next day by the Beating of the Retreat in historic Nelson’s Dockyard as the Antiguan flag is lowered to signal the close of Antigua Sailing Week for yet another year. It is a truly fitting end to a week of glorious racing.

2014 Summer Offshore Training Schedule
May 15th Antigua – Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
May 31st Lunenburg, NS – Bermuda
June 8th Bermuda – Lunenburg, NS
July Route Halifax – St. Pierre Ocean Race
July St. Pierre, FR – Lunenburg, NS
October Lunenburg, NS – Canary Islands

For more information on what we offer please contact Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges at 902.529.2626 or via email at sail@spiritofcanada.net

Copyright © 2013 SPIRIT OF CANADA OCEAN CHALLENGES, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

TEL 902 529 2626

Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges Offshore Training Schedule

October 11th, 2012

Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges now offer a unique opportunity for individuals with all levels of sailing ability to experience first-hand an extreme offshore sailboat. Utilizing the famous Volvo 60 Amer Sports One that completed the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001, Derek Hatfield and professional crew will provide sailors with the chance to experience the sheer exhilaration and sense of accomplishment that comes with completing an offshore passage on a world-class sailing yacht.
As in business and in life, success on the water depends on strong teamwork, leadership, communication and a competitive spirit. Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges draws on all of its combined experience in offshore sailing to take Individuals on the adventure of a lifetime.

Crew can expect to learn about:

• Helming
• Sail handling
• Racing tactics
• Weather analysis
• Nutrition
• Communications
• Sleep patterns
• Navigation
• Psychological factors
• Safety at sea
• Safety equipment & food are inclusive

“Our goal is the give the crew a sense of real participation in all facets of sailing a Volvo 60 offshore. Everyone participates in the experience including maneuvers on deck, navigation, sail handling and helming”. – Skipper, Derek Hatfield

DISCOVERY SAILING & OCEAN CHALLENGES join forces to provide enhanced RYA sail training. With Discovery Sailing, an RYA Training Centre in Nova Scotia, the RYA Competent Crew and Watch Leader practical courses as well as ocean mileage building and RYA Yachtmaster Ocean qualifying passages are now available aboard the Volvo 60 Amer Sports One. RYA qualifications are known and respected the world over. For a list of available RYA courses see discoverysailing.com and for a list of Ocean passages see spiritofcanada.net.

As in business, success on the water depends on strong teamwork, leadership, communication and a competitive spirit. Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges draws on all of its combined experience in offshore sailing to take individuals, couples and teams on the sailing adventure of a lifetime.

2013 Sailing Schedule:

June 14th Lunenburg, Canada – Bermuda
June 22nd Bermuda – Lunenburg, Canada

2014 Sailing Schedule:

Feb 24th Caribbean 600
Feb 28th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Apr 13th Voile de St. Barth
Apr 26th Antigua Sailing Week
May 15th Antigua – Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
May 31st Lunenburg, NS – Bermuda
June 8th Bermuda – Lunenburg, NS
July Route Halifax – St. Pierre Ocean Race
July St. Pierre, FR – Lunenburg, NS
October Lunenburg, NS – Canary Islands

Contact us for more information and pricing if you are interested in one of these events.

Contact: Patianne Verburgh
Phone +1.902.531.2532
Email: sail@spiritofcanada.net

Please feel free to forward this information to anyone that you think might be interested.


July 1st, 2012

As preparations conclude for our first transatlantic training run this year we would like to say a “Happy Canada Day” to everyone.

Happy Sailing,

Derek & The Spirit of Canada Team

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