All 50 sailors who started in the Atlantic Odyssey II from La Palma to Martinique January 8, 2015 preferred spending the Christmas holidays and New Year in Europe before crossing the Atlantic, as opposed to the choice made by the crews of the 33 yachts that participated in the Atlantic Odyssey I which started from Lanzarote in November 2014 and were looking forward to spend their holidays in the tropics.
As varied as the yachts hailing from 11 different nations, were the crews starting from the Marina La Palma on the island of La Palma which is called la isla bonita (the beautiful island). There was a father and son crew, a 3 men crew who had been sailing together for 30 years, couples with and without children, families with children and friends, a boat-owner with friends and a paid skipper. Variety was also to be seen in the type of boats: old steel yachts, brand new yachts, secondhand boats, a new catamaran, all together 13 yachts built in 9 countries.
During the week before the start the participants of the Atlantic Odyssey II were offered a welcome party, offshore sailing seminars, local excursions, shopping help by a local inhabitant and at the end the skippers briefing and farewell party.
What brings all these mixed crews from different countries on different boats together? It is the desire to enjoy the preparation and the final Atlantic crossing together in an amateur spirit based on camaraderie and friendship.
The start at January 8 took place on a beautiful sunny day with favorable NE winds of Force 5. The Irish yacht SATWA crossed the start line first followed by ROXY and VAGALOUCA.
Jimmy Cornell started the first Atlantic Odyssey in 2013. He is the founder of the “Cruising Rally” format which he introduced with the start of the first ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) in 1986. The Odyssey concept is a non-competitive event between offshore sailors.
The yachts of the Atlantic Odyssey were hosted by the Marina La Palma, which belongs to the Calero Marinas of the Canary Islands and by the Government of the island of La Palma. The sponsor in Martinique is the Committee of Tourism. There the Atlantic Odysseys I and II will be hosted in the Marina Le Marin.
The Atlantic Odysseys are organized by Cornell Sailing Events.
The next Atlantic Odyssey will start from Lanzarote on November 18, 2015 and from La Palma on January 9, 2016. Both are bound for Martinique. For those sailors wishing to make a more leisurely crossing, the new Islands Odyssey will leave from Lanzarote on 1 October 2015, visiting all the Canary Islands before leaving from La Palma bound for the Cape Verdes, Barbados and Martinique.
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