And They’re Off Across the Atlantic

November 30th, 2014

After two delays to the start due to horrendous weather conditions, the RORC Transatlantic Race in association with the International Maxi Association started from Puerto Calero Marina at 1000 UTC, Sunday 30th November.

It was third time lucky as the RORC fleet departed Puerto Calero Marina, Lanzarote bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada West Indies, 3000 miles away across the Atlantic Ocean. Rain squalls had been disturbing the air in the early hours of the morning, but virtually nothing would have prevented the eager fleet to set off on the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race. Sunshine and a gentle northerly breeze prevailed for the start – the only abnormal weather feature was a perfect double rainbow, pointing the way to the turning mark off Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife – the only mark of the course before the fleet would make landfall in Grenada.

American Class40, Oakcliff Racing, skippered by Hobie Ponting, got away well and took an inshore line to take the lead. However, the young team from Rhode Island were soon overhauled by a trio of Maxi yachts; Jean-Paul Riviere’s French Finot 100, Nomad IV, Russian Southern Wind 94, Windfall skippered by Fabrizio Oddone and Jeremy Pilkington’s British RP78, Lupa of London.

The rainbow was not the only surreal experience at the start, a fleet of young Spanish Optimist sailors had decided to use the yellow inflatable turning mark for a training session. However, three loud blasts from the coach’s whistle recalled the young sailors to a safe position, as humming deck gear and huge sail area, announced the imminent arrival of the Maxi fleet. No doubt the young sailors will tell the tale for years to come.

Five hours into the race, Nomad IV had rounded the southern tip of Lanzarote just ahead of Windfall and Lupa of London. Derek Hatfield’s Canadian Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure was leading the chasing pack. Frank Lang’s French X-40, Optim’X showed impressive speed, making the turning mark in the company of Class40, Oakcliff Racing and ahead of Nigel Passmore’s British J/133, Apollo 7.

Quotes from the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race

Optim’X skipper, Frank Lang is taking part in his fifth Transatlantic race:

“I wanted to participate in this new RORC adventure and to share the experience with sailing friends,” commented Frank. “We’re looking forward to some fun racing and competition and to the long spinnaker surf rides bought on by the trade winds. It will be interesting to compare our result on corrected time with the big boats in the fleet.”

Don José Calero, President Calero Marinas:

“It has been an absolute pleasure to see the impressive racing machines for this inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race in Puerto Calero. We have enjoyed hosting the crews and helping them to discover our incredible island of Lanzarote and we are pleased that they seem to have appreciated everything that Puerto Calero Marina has to offer.”“We would like to thank Eddie Warden Owen and the RORC team for choosing Puerto Calero for what we very much hope will become an established and popular annual event and we are already looking forward to next year for the second edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race.”

RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen:

“Just over two years ago, the RORC decided to start a transatlantic race and it is just fantastic to see these yachts away. I am delighted to see a really competitive start. They were all pushing very hard, even though it is an endurance test for them, I am very proud to see them all going especially after the amazing weather we have had this week. The plan has come together, we have 11 boats for the first edition, but this race will grow and become a classic in the future.”

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.

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