May 10, 2018

Saint Pierre Chantal Briandcredit: – © Chantal Briand

2018 ROUTE Halifax – Saint Pierre Ocean Race

Every two years since 2002 yachts have gathered in Halifax to begin a 350-mile race to the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Known as the ROUTE Halifax Saint Pierre the race has grown into one of the most popular offshore races on the East Coast. The competition attracts both amateur and professional racers who complete on “First to Finish” and handicap classes. The race is open to double-handed and fully crewed mono-hulls and attracts boats from Atlantic Canada, Quebec, the US and Europe.



There are strong connections between Nova Scotia and the islands, including the somewhat dodgy comings and goings during the heyday of rum running in the 1920s. Nova Scotian skippers would load their schooners with alcohol and head south to help quench the thirst of millions of Americans.

Henri Thibaut credit: © Henri Thibaut

The roots of ocean racing in Saint Pierre date from the first Transat Quebec Saint-Malo in 1984 when the islands were a stopping place. The participation of famous sailors such as Eric Tabarly helped to raise the profile of the islands. In the 1990s Phillipe Paturel skippered the “Saint Pierre et Miquelon” in the Sailing Tour de France, winning the event in 1994. Sailing is a national sport in France and widely televised. The 6,000 inhabitants of the archipelago followed the events closely.

Jean Christophe LEspagnol


credit: © Jean-Christophe L’Espagnol


A few years later, Philippe Paturel and Hal Davies met while competing in a Nova Scotian regatta. Hal was a retired Naval Officer and an active racer out of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS). One day, while enjoying a drink and a chat after a day on the water in Halifax, the two were joking about their next opportunity for some offshore competition. How about the first to arrive in Saint Pierre? The Halifax/Saint Pierre was born. 20 yachts started the first race in 2002 and this year more than 40 are expected. While Hal Davies passed away in 2011, he is remembered as a great friend of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.



Lighthouse Patrick Allain credit: © Patrick Allain

This year the race start in Halifax will be more fun than ever with the “Saint Pierre et Miquelon des Isles d’Exception” Festival taking place on the waterfront. Beginning on June 22nd there will be four days of live music and French food leading up to the race start on June 26th. The finish in Saint Pierre is always a huge celebration with the population welcoming the sailors with gallic flare and pride.

To learn more about the race, check out www.routespm.com

Learn more about the Saint Pierre and Miquelon at: www.spm-tourisme.fr


Rideau Canal Cruise

By Andy Adams, Greg Nicoll and John Armstrong with Robin Ball

If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you have, a vacation aboard a Le Boat Horizon 1350 can give you a whole new view of this magnificent waterway.

One of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century, the Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously-operated canal system in North America. Traveling this sheltered waterway aboard Le Boat, we were able to relax and take in the spectacular nature, picturesque towns and historic locks of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Read more about the Le Boat Rideau Canal Cruise...

 

Lifestyle

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Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

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The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

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Dear Doris

Clarity Nicoll

I grew up in a sailing family. My mother comes from a long line of sailors, my dad works in the marine industry and my brother and I have travelled up and down the eastern coast racing with and against each other. Yet, somehow, I had fallen in love with a No,ON-sailor (please note, the use of capital letters).

I had tried to introduce Dustin to sailing with some success, however, with the fast-paced nature of racing, and experienced sailors always ready to lend a hand when someone yelled “pull the cunningham!!!!”

Read more about Clarity Nicoll...

 

  

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