Feb 13, 2020

Crew at Finish Last YearHere’s a fun shot of the crew from finish last year, including the 4 returning that I mentioned (first left- Adam Paul Holmes, 3rd Left Jolbert vanDijk, middle Meg Reilly, far right Morgen Watson - skipper)

Life on the Caribbean racing circuit attracts participants from all over the world and increasingly from Canada. In addition to the series of regatta’s that take participants from Grenada (see the Touch2Play blog) to the Heineken in St Maarten then to the BVI Spring Regatta with stops along the way, perhaps the big daddy of the season is the RORC Caribbean 600. The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands with crews that include some of the finest sailors in the sport; from Olympians, Volvo Ocean Race, Vendee Globe, America’s Cup and round the world record-breakers.

There are many Canadians sprinkled throughout the fleet and four all-Canuck boats will be on the starting line. Here’s their profiles with notes from Trish Jenkins, event publicist:

A change in temperature for team’s first RC600

Emily of Cowes © Tim Wright

Katy Campbell, Vancouver, Canada on Emily of Cowes (chartered from LV Yachting, Elan 450) – runs the only RYA training centre on the west coast of North America and along with Nikki Henderson will lead an amateur crew for their first stab at the 600-miler. Crew looking forward to the novelty of big wind and warm weather simultaneously, having come from winter-bound Pacific Northwest.

Escapado training for Victoria to Maui Race

Stuart Dahlgren’s Beneteau First 40.7 will be competing for the first time. The team have done lots of racing in the Pacific and 3 x West Coast Hawaii Races, 3 x Vancouver Isle 360 Races, 1 x Rolex Middle Sea Race, plus numerous other 100+ mile distance races. On board will be a mix of regular and new crew members from their boat based in Victoria BC. The new crew will be part of our 2,308 nm Victoria to Maui International Yacht race this summer. “Being the first one, we are looking to be competitive and safe. I am a realist and I think a mid-fleet finish would be very satisfying (winning our class would be better though!)”

Winter training for Montreal-based team

Esprit De Corps IIIEsprit de Corps III visited Toronto last summer

Atlas Ocean Racing will be bringing VO60, Esprit de Corps III to her first serious race after competing four times in previous boats. The Montréal-based team will make the most of Caribbean conditions ahead of this summer’s Transat Québec to Saint Malo Race in July. The boat is the former Brunel Synergy from the ‘97-98 Whitbread. It’s had some upgrades this year since they lost Esprit de Corps IV in a storm in May ‘19. The amateur crew will be led by AOR’s co-founder, Maxime Grimard, and include the company CEO, carpenter, real estate agent and firefighters.

Nurturing young offshore talent

Fourth race for the well-sailed Pogo 12.50 Hermes owned and co-skippered by Meg Reilly (NYC, USA) and Morgan Watson (Calgary) who have developed an international network that brings on young talent in offshore racing. For the past five years they have led offshore youth development campaigns around Atlantic with talent from North America and Europe. Joining the team for the second year (recruited to the Ocean Racers team via the RORC Under 35 Facebook Group) is navigator Jolbert vanDijk from Holland. He has a successful European record with youth teams. Two of Hermes ‘17 RORC Caribbean 600 crew are now Volvo Ocean and America’s Cup sailors - Emily Nagel & Sean O’Halloran. They intend to have more alumni success stories in the future.

RORC Course Map

Follow the race website: http://caribbean600.rorc.org

Live streaming of the build-up and all the starts on RORC Facebook, with commentary:-

Diesel Fuel MaintenanceSince the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over gasoline. In more recent decades, that argument has included boat manufacturers, and increasingly, individual boaters. As I pass through boat yards in the spring or fall, I’m sure to hear a comment or two (sometimes ruefully, other times with great joy) of the merit of a particular engine or fuel source.

Increasingly, diesel engines are praised for their long-life, ease of maintenance, compact design, reliability and safety, and rate of combustion. As well as cruisers and trawlers, many sailboat manufacturers in particular have chosen to install diesel engines. 

Read more about Diesel Fuel Maintenance........................



Beneteau Flyer 32By Andy Adams

Summer sun boat! The handsome new Beneteau Flyer 32 is all about entertaining and the bow area is one of the main attractions. It's a wide shape forward with a huge anchor locker and opening centre section in the railing that invites you to beach the boat and go swimming. The bow is really one giant sun bed area with armrests that fold down and head rests too, for fall-asleep comfort. 



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Dufour 460By Katherine Stone

When one does an October yacht review on the Great Lakes you can never be sure of what kind of weather you will get…. and did we ever luck out! A beautiful sunny day with a high of 31 degrees and a perfect 8-10 knot breeze with light chop made for a champagne sailing day. Lucky for me we were at Swans Yacht Sales located in the Whitby Marina on Lake Ontario, trying out the Dufour 460 Grand Large, a flag ship for the midrange Dufour boats. With an overall length of 46’5” and a hull length of 44 ‘, this boat is majestic, not only in size, but also in elegance with timeless and contemporary style. 

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Moorings In BrazilWith an increasing amount of interest in South America as a charter destination, The Moorings has responded with a new base in Paraty, Brazil. Surrounded by towering jungles plummeting into the waters of Baia Carioca, this charter cruising region features bays peppered with islands and world-famous beaches.

Centrally located between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty (pronounced “Para-chee”) holds the key to many natural wonders you can only discover by boat.

Read more about Moorings' Brazil Charters......................