I found the seminars extremely interesting and very informative, helpful and inspiring. Jade Barnes, White Ibis
Sailors attending the week of long distance cruising seminars in Lanzarote were full of praise for the speakers and the sponsors for making it happen. The seminars were free to all sailors who wished to attend, thanks to the sponsorship from the Canary Islands Tourism Promotion Board, the Lanzarote Tourist Board, the European Sports Destination, and Calero Marinas.
The sessions ran from Monday 12th September to Friday 16th September, in the imposing venue of the Real Club Nautico de Arrecife, and were well attended on all days. The audience was made up of participants in the Barbados 50 rally, as well as others who were spending longer in Lanzarote, enjoying the balmy Canarian climate and good facilities, before continuing west across the Atlantic.
What marked these seminars apart is the high quality of the speakers, who between them have hundreds of thousands of nautical miles and decades of cruising experience under their belts.
For less experienced sailors such as Barbados 50 participants Jade and William Barnes on White Ibis, this experience was invaluable.
“It has been remarkable to have half a dozen people who have done everything in front of us, and some thirty people asking questions I wouldn’t even have thought of myself.” William, White Ibis
Praise from sailors, who are generally straight-talking folk, is always to be treasured. The seminars were also helpful for those with more experience, as expressed by Jennifer Cropper from Modjadji, also taking part in Barbados 50. She commented, “Having sailed a bit now I have found these seminars a lot more useful, as it has made more sense than before.”
This was echoed by Ian Clarke on Tourterelle, another Barbados 50 yacht. “We have been to lots of seminars in other places, but we keep coming because one little gem of knowledge might be that which makes the whole session worthwhile, and you might not know until in a few years time how that gem can turn a good day into a bad day.”
Sessions covered a wide range of subjects from essential voyage planning by Jimmy Cornell to practical medical advice from Dr Paolo Casoni, safe diving from Luc Callebaut and communications by Soenke Rover, downwind sailing from Thomas Wibberenz, and an insight into growing up on a boat as a family from Jimmy’s daughter Doina.
Seminars took place in English, with special slots allocated for French and German sailors also, to reflect the wide range of nationalities present.
About one third of the audience were not taking part in the Barbados 50 and were very appreciative of the opportunity to take part. Anne and Frank Mulholland, of Scot Free III, who were spending longer in Lanzarote, and attended each day, said “We’ve had a ball, we’ve learned a lot, in every single lecture we’ve picked up a lot of information even as experienced sailors ourselves. It has been well worth coming to.”
A similar comment was made by Ilona and Michel from Volantis. “We’ve found the seminars very useful, we didn’t know what to expect, so 75% of it confirmed what we prepared was right, and 25% was what we need to change. We have really enjoyed it and are very happy that it was sponsored so we could attend.”
The week concluded with a special presentation in Spanish by Jimmy Cornell on his sailing expeditions to the Antarctic and Arctic, which was very well received by the local Canarian audience.
As Jimmy made the point on the final day, “These islands have been welcoming sailors for five hundred years and continue to do so. Thanks to the local Canarian sponsorship and support, modern day sailors were once again able to appreciate this welcome.”
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