Boating Done Right

When it comes to boating and sailing, there’s a lot to offer from this tried and true, time honored pastime. While it was once reserved for the wealthy elite, and it remains a necessity for a number of applications, recreational sea faring is one of man’s great passions, and for good reason. There is just something so romantic about the ocean, in every sense of the word. Water gives us life, we ARE water. The glistening surface of the sea beneath the sun and moon is a beauty to behold. The gently lulling waves, or the turbulently crashing waves, elicit a strong emotional response in us all, and the former can be quite soothing as well. That’s not to even mention fishing and swimming, two activities that go well with, and are enabled by, boating. However, you’ll want to be prepared when you step onto your boat for your own private adventure. Here are some boating preparation tips.

First and foremost, you’ll need to dress for the occasion. This means, short of owning and piloting a yacht in particular, you’re going to want to avoid the finer clothing you may be used to, such as that on offer from Charles Tyrwhitt. Instead, you’re going to want something that fits, first and foremost, the temperature. Of course, you might say, but what I mean is that bodies of water are much colder than the air and ground on a given day, so prepare accordingly. This means swimming clothes are fine in warmer weather, such as Summer, but you’ll want a wetsuit in colder weather, and you’ll want some warm clothing over it to stay warm and dry.

Another thing to keep in mind while boating is plain old vigilance. A lot of the physical act of piloting a boat is sitting. You’ll occasionally need to steer, of course, and there is some navigation, but mostly you’ll be on auto pilot (pun intended), so it’s important to be aware and ready to act when the need arises. Short of rowing a smaller craft, such as a canoe, your time is best spent admiring the scenery, but you’ll want to always keep some awareness of where you are and what to look out for in a given setting. Most modern boats have gizmos and gadgets to aid you in safely piloting your craft, but it still falls on you to react accordingly to the beeps and bloops that will alert you to potential dangers.

MIKE SANDERSON THOUGHTS ON RETURNING TO THE RACE ACTION

Sanya will make their return to racing in time for Leg 7’s transatlantic run from Miami to Lisbon and for skipper Mike Sanderson that represents a return to a part of the world he regards as his specialist area.

“I’m looking forward to the next leg – I know that bit of the world well. I’m probably more familiar with the North Atlantic and its weather systems than I am with the Pacific” – Mike Sanderson, Team Sanya

After years of racing and record-breaking across the Atlantic, the Sanya skipper is so at home with the ocean and its weather systems he feels he knows it better than his home waters around New Zealand.

Mike’s team will rejoin the fleet ahead of the PortMiami In-Port Race on May 19 and the start of Leg 7 the following day.

“I’ve just done so many more Atlantic crossings than anything else.”

In 2003 Sanderson smashed the transatlantic record on 140ft superyacht Mari Cha IV by two days, setting a new time of six days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds.

He also skippered his ABN AMRO ONE team to victory from New York to Portsmouth in 2005-06, though his memories of that leg will forever be of the tragic death of Hans Horrevoets from sister boat ABN AMRO TWO.

“Out of respect, out of grief, we will all be thinking about Hans on this next leg,” Sanderson said. “It was the biggest tragedy of our era of the Volvo Ocean Race. It’s always going to be significant.”

Although the route from Miami to Lisbon in this race is not a typical crossing, Sanderson reckons the fleet could still end up sailing a more traditional course high into the North Atlantic if the right weather conditions occur.

“One thing that’s a bit different is that we’re leaving from a long way south and we’re arriving a lot further south,” he added.

“If it was New York to the Lizard I’d be very familiar with that bit of the world but leaving from Miami and going to Lisbon is a bit different.

“There are many scenarios where we actually sail up to New York and then sail a traditional leg across the Atlantic and down to Lisbon from the English Channel.

“It might end up being quite a traditional Atlantic crossing.”

Team Sanya, the race’s first sole Chinese Entry, were forced to pull out of Leg 5 while leading the fleet after sustaining damage, and were left with no choice but to ship their boat to Savannah in the United States, missing Leg 6.

Sanderson said although his team would have suffered from losing out on six weeks of close combat racing with their Volvo Ocean Race rivals, they were eager to get back into action.

“Since the boat arrived in Savannah it’s felt like we’re back in the campaign, whereas when the boat’s on a ship your hands are tied,” he said.

“We’re just looking forward to getting back into the race. We can’t wait to max it up and get in everyone’s way again – that’s what we’re all about.”

Sanya’s shore crew are currently working on the repairs in Savannah before the sailors take the boat to Miami.