July 11, 2017

Spartan 301by Laura Benkis


Lunenburg based Spartan Ocean Racing have had a busy year providing their clients with exciting offshore racing experiences. With their modern 60’ offshore race boats and professional crew, even novice sailors get to experience high speed ocean sailing. Laura Benkis sent us this account for her adventure.

This spring, I had the pleasure of sailing with Spartan Ocean Racing & Training from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia during both the 50th ‘Antigua Sailing Week’ and then the inaugural ‘Antigua to Bermuda Race’.

I had not sailed in the Caribbean prior to these two events and all my training and offshore sailing was in the cold waters around the UK, the English Channel and Laura Benkisthe North Atlantic. So, I was looking forward to wearing shorts and a T- shirt rather than wishing (with chattering teeth) that I'd brought just one more layer to put on. I was also sick of putting on wet clothes, foulies, and soggy boots to go on watch, so with sandals, sunscreen, and sunglasses packed and smiling ear to ear, I flew to Antigua.

Spartan Ocean Racing & Training operates a fleet of Volvo 60s and has a unique program designed to develop excellence in seamanship. Led by exceptionally skilled skippers and trainers who have a combined mileage of 330,000 NM's, it doesn't matter if you are a novice or seasoned sailor or have never stepped foot on a boat, their training programs are designed to be inclusive for all skill levels with a significant emphasis on safety.

Day sailing on a Volvo 60 during Antigua Sailing Week was busy. Lots of manoeuvres and sail changes, so if you were not familiar with boat mechanics, you'd get the hang of it quickly. We got slotted into one or two jobs so that a cohesiveness could start to form in the crew and I was surprised how quickly a rhythm developed between the crew.

Deciding to sail 1000+ nautical miles to Bermuda in the Antigua Bermuda Race was a last-minute decision for me. Part way through Antigua Sailing Week, I decided I wanted to sail on with Spartan. I had next to no kit with me, but I managed to borrow what I needed from friends and some strangers and had enough to get by. It's amazing how little you actually need for a week at sea.

I was looking forward to going offshore. Getting back to day-to-day existence on a watch system living in 3 hour increments where day flows into night, and back to day. Winds were light and fickle for the most part. Once night watch whilst I was helming, I had this distinct feeling were going in circles - turns out we were. Skipper popped up on deck and I think he told us that we were heading back to Antigua - that's how good my helming skills are. Being a learning environment though, I was forced to confront my discomfort of helming and just do it. How else was I going to learn and get better? That's the thing about Spartan, as much as we are in racing situation on a stripped-down 60 ft. race yacht, we are also in a learning environment. The skippers take the time to stop and explain, and teach. I've come out the other side a better sailor with new skills.

For more information check out www.spartanoceanracing.com

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
I've been cleaning dresser drawers for space and came across this 1979 LYRA t-shirt. This was my ...
Our Photo of the Week comes from one of our CY team members who writes “This is my son and his best ...
This boat carries the distinction as the last boat to leave the C&C Custom shop in Oakville ...
We crossed Lake Ontario from Oswego with a minimum of fuss and did a little happy dance when we ...
Our Photo of the Week comes from Mark and Lisa Harris who winter in Vancouver, Washington and spend ...
I am new to boating. Bought a 2019 Ranger Tug in April followed by taking a short boating course ...
Arie and Maribeth sent us this photo from their honeymoon departing Killarney…I think they were in ...
This shot was taken last week by Jessica Lee, a freelance photography pro, Albacore racer and part ...
On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...
It was a trip 2 or 3 years ago, and all 4 boats traveled up to the Killarney area in a ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told my children to wash their hands. I remind them ...
The new editions of PORTS Cruising Guides, from the publishers of Canadian Yachting will be ...
As the seasons change and we move from warm summer into cooler fall, many fanatic boaters ...
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...

CompassBy Katherine Stone

Not a hard re-installation - just line up the holes and replace the screws.

I remember vividly my first experience using a chart plotter and navigation system. Deciding that we should try the cruising lifestyle, we purchased an older boat and set out from Hindson’s Marina in Penetanguishene at dawn to sail across Nottawasaga Bay to Thornbury, Ontario for the Canada Day long weekend. It was a beautiful start to the day when we left and motored out of Penetanguishene Bay and rounded the corner, heading toward Christian Island, right into pitch black clouds. 

Read more about Your Compass........................

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...

J99By Katherine Stone

All set to pull out the Code 0 before dousing the jib.

It was a very cold and wet beginning to the summer and we never thought it would arrive in Southern Ontario. Doing a 100 miler race on Lake Ontario (billed as the COOLEST race on the lake) with my 8 layers of thermal clothing, woolen ski toque and ski mittens, along with a neck warmer kept me on the edge all night, just out of frostbite reach. I shouldn’t have complained, as we also had wind!

July and August arrived, and it has certainly warmed up, in fact, its too warm, AND we don’t have wind. We are now counting 5 Wednesday nights in a row without wind to race. 

Read more about the J99 Offshore Shorthand Speeder.....................

 

Wellcraft 242 FishermanBy Andy Adams

Boat buyers are gravitating to the latest centre console boats for a wide range of reasons but for the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman, you can sum it up by saying it’s about features, style and value.

This great-looking boat is just as capable on a family picnic cruise as it is doing serious blue water fishing. A wide range of options let the buyer tailor the boat for their specific interests, but it’s all there to choose from. Our test boat was well-equipped for that comfortable cruise with easy access via the swim platform and through the transom gate into the cockpit.

Read More about the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman..................

Destinations

  • Prev
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...

KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

Read more about Kingston......................

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Too hot to bake? No oven onboard anyway? Try these no-bake shipboard treats. (Yes, we know they’re ...
It is not that often I drive as big a vehicle as the Nissan Armada (nautical name!) as a test ...
The new edition of PORTS Cruising Guides: Georgian Bay, Lake Huron & the North Channel from the ...
Canadian Yachting’s Chartering Handbook, full of information and advice for heading off to a ...
Navigating the process of yacht care and maintenance just got a whole lot easier, following the ...
I will be honest, I am generally not a big fan of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV). My wife and I own ...
The FX model is Yamaha's top-of-the-line three seater WaveRunner and a totally new model for 2019. ...
In the April 2015 edition of CY magazine, I published an article on anchors and anchoring – Staying ...
The Seabin device part of the Oak Bay Marine Group trial, has had promising results so far while ...
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...