After the departure on the 9th of January from the Canary Islands, the international fleet of 7 yachts finally arrived in Grenada after 18-20 days out at sea, having covered almost 3000 miles.
A warm welcome from the Grenadine Health department, Port Louis Marina Manager and the Grenada Tourism Authority was a welcome sight!
The Viking Explorer Sailors were guided by the waiting Marina staff to a designated quarantine dock at the outstanding Port Louis Marina, southern Caribbean’s must visit destination.
This year’s Viking Explorer Rally has been a very special one this year, with much flexibility to help ensure the rally could still go ahead and be enjoyed by all.
The fleet departed 3 days later than originally planned, as Captains decided at the skippers briefing in the Royal Yacht Club of Gran Canaria to leave after Storm Filomena, that stroked the Canary Islands just at the departure.
Finally, the 7 boats and intrepid crews from Sweden, Norway, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, England, Italy, Canada, Bermuda and Argentina left Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on their way across the Atlantic towards the beautiful Caribbean ‘Island of Spice’, Grenada.
Tracking the Viking Explorer Rally boats was crucial this year, as to provide proof to authorities that no boat had stopped on its way and therefore breaking quarantine rules. Boats were monitored by the onshore tracking team, but also by the Seven Seas Cruising Association and Boat Watch. The ever-changing situation with the pandemic made the event organisation difficult, but the exceptional camaraderie, collaboration of everyone ensured an even bigger fun, family and friendly bond between all of the participants.
This year sailors experienced a fast crossing with trade winds of 18-25 knots most of the time “downhill to the Caribbean” and to the surprise of many no boat experienced any squalls or adverse weather.
PCR tests were performed and tracking systems were installed to comply with the protocols of the arrival port of call and safety of the crews.
After the arrival in Grenada, all crews enjoyed the island with its stunning forests and beautiful waterfalls and perfect anchorage bays before the traditional Viking Explorer Welcome Ceremony and the fun Prize Giving. Organised to ensure consistent with the pandemic safety protocols, and evening of fun and laughter was enjoyed by all.
Oliver Solanas Heinrichs, Managing Director welcomed all sailors, Chinel Sandy from the Grenada Tourism Authority and Charlotte Fairhead, Marina Manager at Port Louis Marina, congratulated the sailors for their achievement. A local steel orchestra ‘New Dimensions’ performed with traditional instruments amongst an atmosphere of excitement emotions. Local Westerhall Rum sponsored this party and a nice buffet was served.
Special thanks to Charlotte Fairhead, Marina Manager of Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina for her constant help, the Grenada Tourism Authority and the Minister of Health, Chief and all his team for their commitment.
Charlotte Fairhead, Marina Manager at Port Louis Marina comments:
“We are well equipped at Port Louis Marina to host wonderful sailing regattas, rallies and events, so it has been a huge honour to welcome the Viking Explorer Rally this year. Despite world difficulties we have been so pleased to see this event succeed and be apart of something so enjoyable.”
Anders from SY Clementine comments
“Thank you so much to everyone, organisers, the local people and all our new friends. To be part of such an exclusive smaller fleet makes the difference and we are so happy to have been apart of it.”
- Biggest Boat – Captain Jim Greetham
- Youngest Skipper – Captain Robert Petersen
- Oldest Skipper – Captain Robin Jan Vlug and dog Sally
- Newest Boat – Captain Terry Pimentel
- Spirit of the Viking Explorers – Captain Anders
Some Facts at The Viking Explorer Rally:
The concept of Viking Explorers is enjoyed by real cruisers wanting to cross the Atlantic Sea in a social, small and friendly way. The ethos of the Viking Explorer Rally is to be a part of a family. The 5th edition of the rally will take place in 2022 with 15 confirmed entries on the list ready.