VOLVO 70 TRUE NORTH’S BLOG SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2013Thursday 24th January 2013
Rocco Falcone, one of Antigua's fine youth sailors at the helm of Volvo 70 True North on Sunday, January 20, 2013. Photo (c) Dubai Expo 2020 Corporation.
Blog – Sunday activation day: 20/01/13
A big day was scheduled for Sunday, with two sailing trips on the cards for True North and crew. Our epic day racing around Antigua on Saturday was a hard act to follow, but with another beautiful day and steady 15 – 18 knots, we had the ingredients for a fun and informative day on the water.
Our first trip included a group of young local sailors from the yacht club, parents and friends. Because we have been generating so much interest from the surrounding boats here on the marina, there were also a few people from neighbouring super yachts that were keen to hop on for a sail. So with a group of about 15 we ventured out from the island on a tight reach, the boats fastest point of sail.
Our second group was much larger, with 22 people aboard and plenty of young keen sailors, local media and yacht club members. The youth sailing programme here is bursting at the seams with local kids, all of whom have the opportunity to learn how to sail for free due to the charitable funding the yacht club generates. Part of their programme is also learning first how to swim, building water confidence and then learning how to sail.
Five teenage boys on board for the second sail had also raced against us during the Round Antigua Race onboard a 1720 keelboat, and were full of questions about the rigging systems, canting keel and daggerboards. It was great to have such enthusiasm from young sailors who had never been on a Volvo 70 before, and be able to show them the finer points of the yacht.
Antigua Yacht Club’s Commodore Elizabeth was also on board, and we were able to talk to her about how the marina has developed over the past 10 years. The opportunities created here through the growing marine industry has meant that more and more locals have better employment opportunities, and also given an extra incentive to learn how to sail from a young age.
The breeze had picked up in the afternoon, which made for an exciting blast out from Antigua. The kids especially loved going up onto the bow with the crew and experiencing the pounding motion which the yacht generates, along with the crashing of waves onto the deck.
The people from Antigua Yacht Club have been wonderful. They are intrigued with our project and impressed with our sailing. One of the guests from Saturday even invited us to his boat for Sunday dinner to celebrate our on-board volunteer and ‘boatman’ Corey’s 21st birthday. Huge thank you to Tom (and chef Nick for the fabulous food!)
We have discovered Antigua as a central hub for yachting in the Caribbean, and it has been great to be alongside a marina, compared to being anchored or on a mooring. With water facilities and yachting chandleries on our doorstep, True North has been given a good wash, scrub, and airing out, along with being able to carry out the endless boat maintenance jobs that a yacht of this calibre naturally creates.
James has been working tirelessly through the night at the local sail loft to repair several of our sails, and the crew has been assisting him in shifts. Once again, it is great to have these facilities to work with, as they are something that many of our Caribbean island destinations may not be able to provide.
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