Solo Sailor Hatfield ‘Warms Up’ Easter Seals Crowd

Derek Hatfield

In a warm-up event for the July 13 National Banks Easter Seals Charity Regatta in Vancouver, solo sailor Derek Hatfield treated a capacity crowd at Royal Vancouver YC to an inspiring presentation about his campaigns in three major single-handled round-the-world races. The only Canadian to race single-handed around the world twice, Hatfield has sailed more than 200,000 miles solo and completed two of his races with podium finishes. In his presentation, he described his preparation and experiences racing boats that were largely supported by thousands of individual Canadian donors, as well as glimpses into the wild world of solo racing in today’s high-tech IMOCA sailboats.

Hatfield’s response to a questioner who asked whether he would attempt another solo race sounded almost like a challenge: “I’m not motivated to do it again for myself, but I would for the right cause and the right sponsor.”

Hatfield has also offered a rare opportunity for an Easter Seals Regatta skipper to sail on his Volvo 60 Amer Sports One in the 2014 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The crew spot will be awarded in a raffle for skippers who register for the regatta by July 5. Hatfield’s June 4 appearance offered encouragement to skippers and sponsors to register for the charity regatta, which has been hosted by Royal Van for more than two decades. With media sponsorship from Canadian Yachting West, the regatta raises funds to support Easter Seals House, which provides accommodation for families while their children receive medical care in Vancouver.

V50 HatfieldThe regatta is a PHRF handicap event with flying and no-flying sails divisions. This year marks the return of the post-race False Creek boat parade; the theme is pirates and crews are judged for prizes on their costumes, boat decorations and spirit. Skippers and crews can also recruit their favourite licensed establishments to compete for bragging rights and the “Pub Cup” in the inaugural “First in Bar” race. Pubs compete to see which establishment can raise the most in support of Easter Seals House. Pub-sponsored boats will be scored separately as well as overall in the regatta.

Registration is $100 or requires a minimum $250 boat sponsorship; sponsorship levels also include $500, $1,000 and $1,500. Registered skippers and those who recruit their own boat sponsors will receive a Stormtech sailing bag valued at $75.

To register as a skipper or sponsor, call 604-873-1865 or visit

Canadian Yachting West is a proud sponsor of this year’s Easter Seals Regatta.

Easter Seals Regatta

Neptunus 650F Review

Neptunus 650F 400

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

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The Other Virgin Islands

Sunset off St John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

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