RORC Transatlantic Race: Special Delivery

November 26th, 2014

The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote bound for Grenada, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the competing yachts are now safely moored in Puerto Calero Marina.

Derek Hatfield’s Volvo 60, SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE, left Lunenberg, Novia Scotia, Canada on 9th November with eight crew on board for the 2,800 nautical mile delivery across the Atlantic to Lanzarote, which took 14 days.

Sensation Class40 was delivered to Lanzarote with a crew skippered by Marc Lepesqueux who has completed the Route du Rhum on two occasions with the Pierre Rolland designed Class40. Sensation left Diélette near Cherbourg, France on the 15th November with a crew of six for the 1,500 nautical mile delivery to Lanzarote.

Oakcliff Racing, the other Class40 skippered by Dan Flanigan, left Southampton, England on the 7th November with a crew of five for the 1,500 nautical mile delivery to Lanzarote. The team from the Oakcliff Sailing Academy are all under 27 years old and making their first Atlantic crossing.

Dimitri Tsallis, Boat Captain on Swan 68, Yacana, left Piraeus, Greece on 1st November for the 2,100 nautical mile delivery to Lanzarote with a crew of five.

First offshore training season draws to a close – New Season Unveiled

August 14th, 2014

Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges Completes Successful First Season Onboard SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE

Announcing 2014/15 Offshore Sailing and Racing Sessions

The Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges Team is delighted to have completed a successful first year on the Volvo 60 Spirit of Adventure. Some of the season highlights include: the safe completion of eight (8) offshore training sessions which included two Caribbean regattas and two major international offshore races, (RORC Caribbean 600 and Route Halifax St. Pierre). The sailing adventures aboard the fully commercially coded Volvo 60 Spirit of Adventure provided 91 individuals ranging in ages from 27 to 77 years old the opportunity to sail on a grand prix yacht with two round the world sailors, Derek Hatfield and Chris Stanmore-Major who between them have more than 400,000 ocean miles and 5 circumnavigations.

Along the way, two major records including the Sol Cup for fastest around the island during the 2014 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the Andre H. Patural Trophy for Overall Line Honours during the Route Halifax St. Pierre Race, a 370 nm ocean race between Halifax and the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. (winning team pictured above)

Next Around the World Race

The team is now preparing for the second year of offshore training and ocean races while waiting to announce the next around the world race. The Volvo 60 Spirit of Adventure is currently undergoing a refit in Nova Scotia during the lull in offshore training created by the 2014 hurricane season. The VO 60 will be pulled from the water and undergo a number of upgrades that include a racing bottom and new sails.

Offshore Sailing Sessions – No Experience Required

The 2014/15 offshore training season schedule is now available for booking by individuals or teams. Each session includes two days of safety, boat handling and sail training prior to going offshore. All safety gear and food is supplied. Incentive program is available.

Nov 8th – 21st              Lunenburg to Lanzarote, Canaries Islands – 2400 nm
Nov 29th – 11th            RORC Transatlantic Race – Lanzarote to Grenada -2800 miles (two positions avaialable)
Jan 15th – 22nd           Mount Gay Around Barbados Race Series
Feb 21th – 28th            RORC Caribbean 600 – non-stop Around the Caribbean Sea (full – wait list)
Mar 2nd – 8th               St. Maartin Heineken Regatta – including the Commodore’s Cup
Apr 11th – 18th             Les Voiles de Saint Barth
Apr 23rd – May 3rd      Antigua to Lunenburg – 1800 nm
May 15th – 20th           Lunenburg to Bermuda – 750 nm
May 23rd – 28th           Bermuda to Lunenburg – 750 nm
June 5th – 10th            Lunenburg to Bermuda – 750 nm
June 12th – 17th          Bermuda to Lunenburg – 750 nm
July 3rd – 10th             Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race – 370 nm

Please contact us for full details on any of these sailing adventures.

The Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges Team

Derek, Chris and Patianne

Mobile: +1 902 529 2626

About Spirit of Adventure and Ocean Challenges

Along with the Open 60 Spirit of Canada, the Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges Sailing Team (“Ocean Challenges”) has acquired the Mk III Volvo 60 raced as Amer Sports One in the 2001 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Together, the Ocean Challenges team bring unprecedented support and experience to those that want to sail or race offshore safely on a world class ocean sailboat. The idea of training, purchasing, equipping and preparing a vessel to safely go offshore is daunting to most; Ocean Challenges has taken that tremendous amount of work out of the equation. Ocean Challenges offers individuals with all levels of sailing experience an adventure of a lifetime that will take most of them outside the box during an international regatta, ocean passage or transatlantic race.

What crewmembers have to say about sailing aboard the boat:

“I would like to thank the team for making a dream come true. In 2001-2002 watching Amer Sports One sail around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race I would have never thought that one day I would be crewing on the same boat with 2 skippers that have so much experience and are icons in the sport of offshore sailing”. -Mike V., Newmarket

“The Volvo 60 is an ideal platform for instructors, crews, and sailing students to become invigorated by further enhancing their own skills at sea while being part of a leading edge international training opportunity aboard a top prestigious racing yacht”. Ellen, PEI

“We had the time of our lives aboard Spirit of Adventure and will be recommending our adventure to everyone!
It was a pleasure meeting you both”!
Lorraine & Joe, ON

“Deciding to take the trip from Bermuda to Lunenburg was one of the best decisions of my life! It was my first open ocean experience and to have the opportunity to live this dream aboard a racing machine was truly a unique opportunity”. Tom P., Oakville

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.

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