The 1st Viking Explorers 2022 arrive at Port Louis Marina, Grenada, in its 5th edition after 23 days out at sea.
A great achievement by Hermann, Ute, and Klaus from the German sailing yacht Thetis, a Schionning Wilderness 1650 Catamaran, who left Las Palmas of Gran Canaria on the Canary Islands together with the rest of the fleet in early January. They had been already for months on the Canary Islands, enjoying their stay and preparing their boat to cross the Atlantic together with the rest of the participants.
20 boats and 71crew left the Canary Islands on the 6th of January on their way across the Atlantic and after a good strong start the fleet found more fluky conditions with little wind due to low pressure systems, developing in more lower latitudes than usual and affecting the Tradewinds, being this year a longer crossing.
This was Hermann´s second Atlantic crossing and as he reported on his arrival: “We had very little wind, no squalls, no rain a very relaxed crossing. “
SY Thetis was supposed to sail on the direct route but like others, contacted the Rally to advise about his decision to stop in Mindelo, Cape Verde, 4 days after leaving the Canary Islands, for a technical fuel stop. Many participants opted this year to stop in Mindelo, in Cape Verde where they were welcomed by the Marina Mindelo that offered a party and after stocking up left on their way to Grenada.
After their stop Hermann decided to leave for a more southerly route and find more wind. After a day out at sea, they reported an electrical failure and decided to return to Mindelo. Fortunately Hermann solved the problem and decided to continue their way towards Grenada.
On 29th of January at 0745am, the crew of SY Thetis was welcomed in Port Louis Marina by Chinel Sandy from the Grenada Tourism Authority, Zara Tremlett, Marina Manager and the Viking Explorers team. Some cold beers where handed over and the crew received a beautiful basket with local products.
Most of the fleet is on its way and the rest of the fleet will arrive in the next few days. The conditions are good and no boat has informed about any mayor incidences, some have used more engine in the more calmer days, others have taken the time to fish, relax and enjoy the big blue.
The Participants will enjoy Sundowners, parties and the Welcome Ceremony at the True Blue Bay Resort, celebrating their success, crossing the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Grenada. Indeed a great achievement after so many days out at sea. Sailors will be able to join the parades and ceremonies at the Grenada Independence Day on the 7th of February, commemorating Grenada´s independence in 1974.
With 20 boats on this 5th event, ranging from 35-60 feet from New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Sweden, Netherland, Poland and Germany, participants are keen cruisers that agree to the rally’s ethos of helping each other as much as possible. The Viking Explorers Rally tries not be so commercial, there is no compulsory equipment, and the maximum capacity is 25 boats.
The start is from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, on the Canary Islands,on the 6th of January every year to Grenada, in the Caribbean.
Participants have the choice of two routes, the direct route to Port Louis Marina in Grenada, 2800 miles, or with an alternative stop in Mindelo, 850 miles and then 2200miles.
The Viking Explorers is a small reduced fleet with a maximum of 25 boats. The ethos is not the biggest possible group, but the friendliest one and there is no compulsory equipment.
Viking Explorers is not a race and the organization encourages the fleet to help each other.
The first Viking Explorers left Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2018 to Barbados being a completely free event with no sponsors.
Since 2018, the Viking Explorers do charge a low fee and has been supported by Tourism Authorities, companies, cruising associations and pationate sailors.
The Viking Explorers does a great effort in helping the environment. It collaborates with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Program Sail and Whale and Goes Foundation. Participants are encouraged to forward data with the sighting of cetaceans and plankton samples.
The Viking Explorers tries to reduce their negative impact towards the environment, reduces drastically plastic used at their events and creates awareness within the sailing community for a better and cleaner planet.
The organization has been in constant contact with the authorities and have introduced all health protocols within their rally. PCR test are being organized with the collaboration of the Hospital Perpetuo Socorro, as boats will only be able to leave with a negative result obtained 24hrs before departure. The crews are advised to take extra cautions and to follow at all times the changing protocols.
The Viking Explorers 2022 is sponsored by the Grenada Tourism Authority, Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina and Westerhall Rum. Budget Marine being the official supplier for the Caribbean and minor sponsors “Friends of Viking Explorers”, are Imray, Hydrovane, Predictwind, Puerto Tazacorte, Marina Mindelo, Island Dreams Grenada, Coyaba, Yacht Agents Galapagos, Clarke Carter Caribbean, Moorsafe, Dive Grenada, Arehucas, Spice Island Marine, Naturbrush, Blue Light Gin, True Blue Bay, Bambaw and Eis-Insurance. The Seven Seas Cruising Association, the Ocean Cruising Club, Trans-Ocean, Anavre, 8islas.com, The Royal Yacht Club of Gran Canaria, the Grenada Yacht Club and MAYAG (Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada) have also been supporting the rally.
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