So you want to be an offshore sailor ?

May 23rd, 2014

Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges and singlehanded round the world skippers Derek Hatfield and Chris Stanmore-Major offer an unique opportunity to sail aboard the fully offshore coded Volvo 60 Spirit of Adventure (formerly Amer Sport One). The beginning of May marked the end of the 2014 Caribbean racing season for Spirit of Adventure and the beginning of the summer sailing adventures; to Bermuda and return in June then the Route Halifax St. Pierre Ocean Race in July.

The sail from Bermuda to Lunenburg is a 7-day adventure that includes two training days in Bermuda and then up to five offshore sailing days to historic Lunenburg. The crew includes three professional skippers and up to 9 crew members. Each crew member will experience all facets of sailing this grand prix offshore yacht, similar to the conditions that the 12 professional crew (Paul Cayard and Grand Dalton among them) had during the 2001 Volvo Ocean Race.Each crew-member will participate in all facets of sailing the boat; helming, sail changes, trimming/grinding and cooking/cleaning. and working together as a team to make the boat perform and enjoying all the hallmark rewards and accomplishments that come with completing a multi-day ocean adventure.

For more details please contact Derek and Patianne or call 902.529.2626.

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

Lunenburg – Bermuda (4-5days) – FULL
Bermuda – Lunenburg (727nm) – 2 POSITIONS AVAILABLE
Route Halifax – St. Pierre (France) Ocean Race – FULL
Lunenburg to Canary Islands (2800nm) 5 POSITIONS AVAILABLE
RORC Transatlantic Race Lanzarote, Canary Islands to Grenada – 4 POSITIONS AVAILABLE
RORC Caribbean 600 Race around the Caribbean Islands – 600 nm race that starts and ends in English Harbour, Antigua
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – 5 days of regatta racing in the best organized event in the Caribbean – whole boat charter or individual positions available
Les Voiles de St. Barth – daily regatta style racing – whole boat charter available – single positions available
Antigua to Lunenburg offshore sailing
Lunenburg to Bermuda

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

Discounts are given to teams or groups of people.

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 and for a list of Ocean passages see

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.

2014 Sailing Schedule:

Caribbean 600
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Voile de St. Barth
Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua – Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg, NS – Bermuda
Bermuda – Lunenburg, NS
Route Halifax – St. Pierre Ocean Race
St. Pierre, FR – Lunenburg, NS
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

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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