CHRISTMAS CARIBBEAN RALLY DEMAND FOR RACING CLASSWednesday 13th February 2013
Written by Louay Habib
José Manuel Garcia’s Barracuda 50, Tjula is the most recent yacht to sign up for the inaugural Christmas Caribbean Rally. 17 yachts have now registered for the new Atlantic Rally, which will leave from Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote on 16th December.
“My first Atlantic crossing was in 2006 and as a sailor, it was the best experience of my life.” Commented José. “I have been sailing with my new boat in the Valencia area for the past three years, always with the same crew. We have sailed something like 15 regattas every year and we all want a new challenge. The Christmas Caribbean Rally is perfectly timed for everyone, it is ideal as we all have to be back at work in January, so the crossing will take place during our holiday from work.”
With a significant number of cruising yachts registered for the Christmas Caribbean Rally, the organisers have also had initial enquiries from yachts wishing to race across the Atlantic this December.
“If there is enough demand from a racing division, we will welcome them.” Commented Sailing Rallies' Events Manager, Mikaela Meik. “ However, we will see how that develops before formally opening the rally to a racing class. In the meantime with our early entry discount closing at the end of February, we are concentrating on organising our preparation weekend, which will take place in London. The capital has been chosen as the registered yachts come from all over Europe and London is an obvious venue for the weekend, which is organised at no extra charge for yacht owners and their crew, as long as they have entered the rally.”
|Mike Broughton (Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)
Sailing Rallies flagship event, the Caribbean Christmas Rally, has gone from strength to strength with the announcement of world-class weather expert and professional race navigator, Mike Broughton joining the team.
Mike has competed in the Whitbread Round the World Race, 15 Fastnet Races, 8 Sydney-Hobart Races and more than a dozen Trans-Atlantics. Over the last 30 years, he has won class in just about every blue water ocean event. As a shore based maritime expert, Mike has provided tactical weather information for the Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup and high profile campaigns such as, Dee Caffari and teenager Mike Perham’s world-record circumnavigations.
‘We are absolutely delighted to welcome Mike, his experience is going to be invaluable.” Commented founder of Sailing Rallies, John Simpson. “Mike will be part of our preparation weekend in May and will be discussing weather analysis but also safety at sea. Mike is a member of the RORC Special Regulations Committee and an experienced race officer, which brings an extra dimension to our preparations. Mike will also be providing weather analysis right up to the departure from Lanzarote on the 16th December.”
“Leaving in the middle of December makes a lot of sense.” Commented Mike Broughton. “Not only are the Trade Winds more likely to be fully established but logistically for those who wish to leave Europe later in the season, it increases preparation time. A letter departure allows owners, their family and friends to enjoy an Atlantic crossing during the holiday period, rather than take time away from work.”
Broughton also believes that the Christmas Caribbean Rally may well have appeal to a racing division.
“The same advantages of the timing of the crossing apply to racing yachts as cruising yachts. Also, many racing yachts would prefer to race to Antigua in the Caribbean because it has excellent re-fit facilities, extensive moorings and Antigua is well established as the home for many racing and superyachts in the Caribbean.”
For more information about the 2013 Christmas Caribbean Sailing Rally go to: www.sailingrallies.com
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