2014-15: Meet the participants

Atlantic Odyssey 2014-15: Some participants profiles

Atlantic Odyssey IAtlantic Odyssey II

Atlantic Odyssey I (Lanzarote – Martinique)

You can click on the the blue names to learn more about the participants.

Debra & Paul Witting
S/V Tumi
  Fritze, Heide & Mina
von Berswordt

S/V Alytes
  Gordon & Louise Coates
S/V The Larrikin
  Catherine & Daniel Scouppe
S/V NYenergi
Pierre-Alain Rouiller
S/V Starship Annie
  Pangaea Explorations – eXXpedition
S/V Sea Dragon
  Stefan & Annette Wendl
S/V Anne
  Peter & Kathrin Schröder
S/V Florentine
Uwe Krambs & Sylvia Hering
S/V Lena II Rijeka
  Frédérik Giraud & Alice de Montoussé
S/V Déhooké
  Angelika, Bernhard, Felix & Alex Helm
S/V Vida
  Denis, Katia & Marina
S/V Bliss
Ester, Knut & Rolf Størkson
S/V Kristine
  Gordon & Sherry Cornett
S/V Serenity
  Francesco Scuderi
S/V Mahe’3
  Liviu & Alina Petri
S/V Seven Seas Adventure
Robert Monteith & Jennifer Mallengier
S/V Sephina
  Paolo Casoni
S/V Mistero Blu
  Adriano de Concini & Liliana Ginanneschi
S/V Freedom II
  Constantin Goth & Urte Lindenberg
S/V Hapa Na Sasa

Atlantic Odyssey II (La Palma – Martinique)

You can click on the blue names to learn more about the participants.

Luc & Yveline Formagne
S/V Doudou
  Colin Darling & family
S/V Finally My Darling
  Elke & Walter de Lacasse
S/V Sunrise
  Jose Ramon Songel
S/V Sea Horse 3

1) Lanzarote – Martinique

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Debra & Paul Witting S/V Tumi

Debra and Paul Witting started sailing back in 2002 on a Westerly Centaur. They learned to sail in the English Channel, in the waters between Salcombe and Fowey, based out of Plymouth, upgraded their boat for a Sadler 29 and sailed her for three years before selling her. At that time, they were undecided whether to go for mono- or multi-hull sailing, and so bareboat chartered for a few seasons trying both.

In 2010, they had the opportunity to rent a friend’s Hanse 470 and they sailed the Caribbean islands for 6 months, which Paul writes, ‘transformed our lives’. They decided that they had to have another boat, and that it would be a mono-hull. They bought a Sun Odyssey 42DS in 2011, fitted her out for long distance sailing, and crossed the Atlantic in 2012 with the ARC. They spent several months meandering through the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Bermuda before returning to the UK via the Azores in May and June 2013.

Since then, they have purchased a new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 which will be commissioned in the UK during April and sea-trialled during May 2014. They will be departing the UK in June/July to sail down to the Canaries where they’ll cruise the islands before the Odyssey departs in November. The plan is to explore the Eastern Seaboard of the US in 2015/6 then join the Pacific Odyssey in Florida either 2016 or 2017 and continue on to Australia.

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Fritze, Heide & Mina von Berswordt S/V Alytes

When my parents (Heide, 43 and Fritze, 42) decided that they didn’t intend doing what we did in the last 20 years for the next 20, they finally agreed on my (Mina, 8) old plan: finally visit the turtles of Galapagos.

So we all jumped at the opportunity to have prolonged sabbatical of two years to sail around the globe.

Heide transferred the customers of her design agency to a trusted hands, Fritze terminated his position as a partner of a strategy consulting company and I said farewell to my beloved school and friends to meet new people at distant shores.

When we planned the Atlantic, a rally came to our minds, as I hope to meet up with some other kids. So we can spend the time playing, while our parents prepare our boats. And its a good start for keeping in touch later. I am sure that there will be more families that continue after our arrival in Martinique.

As it comes to rallies, I compared the ones available and checked every bit of information. I stumbled over the reports of environmental awareness, science projects, UN-cooperation and childrens research awards. I also had the impression, that this one rally had higher “kids quotas” than others. So this was going to be my rally: it was the Atlantic Odyssey. And once I saw the name, I remembered our visit to the boot Düsseldorf fair in January. My parents were taking some kind of class there. There was this nice, middle aged guy talking about global sailing weather and wind conditions. And than I won one of his big books, as I was the youngest participant.

I was sure there would be some work ahead to convince Heide and Fritze. I was prepared for some heavy arguments, as Fritze had already crossed the ocean with another rally some years before. But in the end, it was not all that hard. They agreed on the Atlantic Odyssey and here we are: Looking for a great experience and a bit of an adventure.

For the crossing, we are supported by our friends Ingo and Janne. Also my three Spanish mice (Lulu, Lucia and Sonny) will be on board. So we will be an international German-Suomi-Spanish crew.

Man, I am hyped to get going 😉

See you all in Arrecife, Mina

Blog (in German and English): www.alytes.de

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Gordon and Louise Coates S/V The Larrikin

We are Gordon and Louise Coates from Sydney, Australia. We purchased our Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 in April 2013 in La Rochelle France then set out across the bay of Biscay to enjoy the next 7 months cruising the Mediterranean Sea. In November 2013, we left the boat in Marmaris, Turkey to return home to enjoy Christmas with our family and friends.

In June this year, we resumed our cruising adventure travelling west with our sights set to join the Atlantic Odyssey at Lanzarote in November. We will eventually get The Larrikin home to Australia but it may take a few years as we do like to divide our time between family life and cruising life.

The name of our catamaran is The Larrikin. We chose that name because it is a uniquely Australian name that we think captures the spirit of mate ship – a characteristic that Australians are well known for. It is a colloquial label given to an individual who is strong, bold, bluntly honest but with an endearing sense of mischief and fun. The ‘Larrikin’ is the maverick who became a part of our nation’s folk law. Laid back and loyal, he represents the class free culture that has stamped Australia’s identity on the world.

For the majority of the time it has been just the two of us with the occasional guests on board but for the Atlantic crossing we are pleased to have our good friend Phil, a very experienced sailor joining us.

It will be great to be in the company of others and to be able to draw on the expertise and advice of the Odyssey Team for the crossing. We are very excited and look forward to meeting you all in person soon!

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Catherine and Daniel Scouppe (and little Engie) S/V NYenergi

For many years now we’ve been dreaming of leaving behind our land-based life and living onboard our sailing yacht on a new adventure on the sea. Finally the moment has come to live our adventure. For the first stage of our voyage, we have chosen to cross the Atlantic and celebrate the new year in the Caribbean! Thirty years of dreaming about this so no question now of giving up.

The Atlantic Odyssey, for us, provides the assurance that we need so we won’t fail to do the transat:

  • the experience
  • the safety
  • the organisation
  • and as a bonus, the conviviality of a rally with an environmental character that we especially appreciate.

My 91 year old mother is especially happy to know that someone is keeping an eye on us as we sail the Atlantic. Thank you Cornell Sailing for having had the idea to organise the Atlantic Odyssey.

Blog (in French): www.scouppe.fr

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Pierre-Alain Rouiller S/V Starship Annie

The Swiss crew of S/V Starship Annie is made up of Blaise, Philippe, Jean-Pierre and Pierre-Alain (from left to right on the photos), all united by the same passion for the sea since 2008, when they first sailed together.

Our participation in the Atlantic Odyssey, from Lanzarote to Martinique, will take place on a sloop built by Marine Projects in Plymouth in 1989, a Moody 425. This real sailboat from the Devon boat yards has been regularly maintained and will cross the Atlantic for the second time with a new crew whose average age is 59. The crew all have good nautical experience and will attack this challenge with determination, a taste for effort, desire for discovery, and a spirit of camaraderie and epicureanism.

This oceanic challenge has occupied all of our thoughts for months now and is pushing us to find out all about the offshore aspects of such a long crossing. We are doing all we can to prepare and are looking forward to meeting many other international crews equally captivated by the same aim: to succeed in this extraordinary adventure and to arrive in the Antilles in the best conditions possible.

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Pangaea Explorations – eXXpedition s/v Sea Dragon

An all-women crew will be sailing on s/v Sea Dragon as part of the Atlantic Odyssey.

 eXXpedition’s mission is an all women’s voyage to make the unseen seen, from the toxics in our bodies to the toxics in our seas!

s/v Sea Dragon is a 72ft (22m), 90,000lb displacement steel hulled sailing vessel built in the UK in 2000. She is one of 11 yachts built for the Global Challenge Race – one of the longest, most demanding ocean voyages ever made with an upwind, west-about 32,000km circumnavigation – and is now run by Pangaea Explorations to carry out scientific research.

Website: Visit www.exxpedition.com for more details of the all-woman crew of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and environmentalists.

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Stefan & Annette Wendl S/V Anne

Stefan and Annette Wendl with their three children join the Atlantic Odyssey.

The parents of three small children (Lasse 10, Neele 8 and Torge 6) like to show them the best parts of the world.

They have taken as a motto for their voyage the quote from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

They are taking part to the Atlantic Odyssey basically to meet other same minded families.

Blog (in German): www.anne-ahoi.de

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Peter and Kathrin Schröder S/V Florentine

We are excited by offshore sailing and just gave up our jobs and homes.
In ten years time we plan to retire – until then we like to set sail.
We have sold all our possessions and are looking for new adventures, new people, new countries. After our Atlantic crossing with the Atlantic Odyssey we shall decide if we would like to continue on a circumnavigation.

Blog (in German): syflorentine.wordpress.com

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Uwe Krambs and Sylvia Hering S/V Lena II Rijeka

I have been sailing for 10 years in the Mediterranean, crossing the Mediterranean twice in the last two years, as well as sailing to the Canary Islands in the last year. On my trips I have learnt a lot and met many nice people.

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Frédérik Giraud & Alice de Montoussé S/V Déhooké

Frédérik, who has been passionate about sailing for 10 years and his friend Alice, a novice but motivated to learn, have decided to make a break of 6 months and go sailing.

Their programme is rather classic: to cross the Atlantic Ocean and spend a few months in the Caribbean. They heard about Atlantic Odyssey and found the concept ideal for a first crossing. The fact of being several boats crossing together brings at the same time a reassuring safety for them and their relatives, and also a very nice conviviality.

They bought their boat at the beginning of July (First 40) and baptized her Déhooké. They have spent all of August sailing in Brittany and will begin their descent towards the Canary Islands at the end of September.

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Angelika, Bernhard, Felix & Alex Helm S/V Vida

We wanted to get into contact to other sailing families -not only for us, but also for our children. Our kids Felix (5) and Alexander (3) are always happy to meet new children and play with them and make new friends.

For us adults it would also be great to make new friends and share this unique experience of crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Our final goal is New Zealand, where Bernhard is planning to work as a general practitioner for a couple of years…what then? We still don’t now…

Looking forward to meeting you all!

Blog (in English): thesailinghelms.wordpress.com

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Denis, Katia, and Marina S/V Bliss

We love the oceans, love sailing, like warm weather, and dislike competitions. And we never crossed an ocean on a sailboat. So it was an easy decision for us to join the Atlantic Odyssey rally.

Having sailed Western Atlantic before, this time around we explored the Med. After two winters we decided that a warmer weather was in the books for us and started thinking about our crossing.

This rally hit the spot: leisurely sailing and helping ecological ocean research. Over the years we have come to appreciate just how much we depend on the health of our oceans. Helping find ways to heal the ecosystem, one family at a time, will make this crossing doubly satisfying.

Lastly, family orientation of this rally has turned out to be an excellent bonus. Our daughter Marina (2) is very sociable but cruising families with little kids in the Med are far and few in between. So all three of us are looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones on both sides of the ocean!

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Ester, Knut and Rolf Størkson S/V Kristine

Rolf (55) and his daughter Ester (19) has been sailing around the Scandinavian coasts every summer for 14 years, first with a Maxi 108 and later upgrading to their current Malö 37. Their big dream has always been to sail around the world, and finally finding a gap year is great news!

Ester is studying onboard in an attempt to one day become a doctor. Other than that she is a musician and the boat’s current blogger.

Rolf is a medical doctor and the boat’s personal hobby mechanic. When he is not tinkering on the boat you will find him reading or doing some studies.

Their passion for music, literature and boating gadgets is filling up the storage rooms and their big dream is to one day perform a circumnavigation. But for now, they’re thrilled to do this amazing adventure along with the other sailors of the Atlantic Odyssey!

For the big crossing the oldest brother in the family will join; Knut. He is a 28 years old mechanic engineer and musician on the side. He stands behind some of the finest works on the hydro generator and joined us crossing the north sea a few years ago.

Blog (in English): www.goodbyeland.com

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Sherry and Gordon Cornett S/V Serenity

Sherry and Gordon Cornett started their current sailing adventure in July 2009 aboard their Tayana 52 DS sailboat named Serenity .

After a short shakedown sail to San Francisco, they sailed south to San Diego and joined the Baja Haha Rally to Mexico. After exploring the Sea of Cortez they set sail from Puerto Vallarta and crossed the Pacific Ocean to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands. After visiting most of the Marquesas they sailed to the Tuamoto Islands, Tahiti, Mo’orea, Huahini, Riatea/Tahaa, Bora Bora, Rarotonga, Nuie, Tonga, and New Zealand. They traveled extensively in New Zealand as they waited out the cyclone season.

In 2010 they sailed from New Zealand’s Bay of Islands to Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Australia where they again did extensive ‘land cruising’ as they waited out the cyclone season. 2011 found Serenity and her crew sailing up the east coast of Oz to Darwin where they joined the Indonesian Rally to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand where they stayed for the next cyclone season. In March of 2012 Serenity was loaded on a Seven Seas transport vessel and shipped to Marmaris Turkey avoiding the dangerous waters in the Gulf of Aden.

After enjoying the Gold Coast of Turkey for three months Serenity and her crew sailed to Greece, Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia. They crossed the Adriatic to Italy and sailed down to Sicily where they wintered Serenity in Marina di Ragusa. In April of 2014 they sailed up the west coast of Italy stopping at many wonderful ports. They visited the islands of Elba, Corsica, Sardinia, and Menorca before harbor hopping the east and south coast of Spain to Gibraltar. After an ‘interesting passage’ through the Straits of Gibraltar and a stop in Rabat Morocco they are ready to cross the Atlantic, visit the best of the Caribbean Islands, Columbia, Panama Canal, and up the west coast of the Americas to home.

“We have found that rallies such as the Atlantic Odyssey allow us to meet some of the best of the cruising community and have a great time.”

Sherry and Gordon are commodores in the Seven Seas Cruising Association.

Blog (in English): sailblogs.com/member/serenity2009

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Francesco Scuderi S/V Mahe’3

My dream is to go around the world with my boat.
Taking part in the Atlantic Odyssey is only the beginning.

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Liviu & Alina Petri S/V Seven Seas Adventure

In 2008 we rented a skippered boat and sailed for a week. It was love at first sight. Since then we’re planning a longer cruise and we came to a “one ocean at a time” strategy.

We didn’t plan to join a rally but when we discovered Atlantic Odyssey we instantly felt this is a cozy community with enough family boats so our 4 years old son Paul could make new friends.

Adding to that, the environmental aspects and Jimmy Cornell’s impressive contribution to the cruising world made us take a decision quick. Looking forward to meeting you all in Lanzarote.

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Robert Monteith & Jennifer Mallengier S/V Sephina

We (Rob and Jen and our dog Balrog) are excited to be joining the Atlantic Odyssey and also looking forward to making new friends along the way. See you all soon in Lanzarote and Martinique!

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Paolo Casoni S/V Mistero Blu

Paolo Casoni   S/V Mistero Blu

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Adriano de Concini & Liliana Ginanneschi S/V Freedom II

Adriano, during the 1960s, made his first sailing experience on Lake Garda with a Star and a FD. Then with several boats each summer he travelled the length and breadth of the Mediterranean.

Liliana, on the other hand, had a dream to live on a boat and navigate around the world. The chemistry between the two was immediate and 15 years ago was born a “marinero love”!

After years of sailing together with our old and spartan Farr 31, we decided to buy Freedom II, a First 44.7. Last summer we tested and tuned the boat starting from Trieste, sailing in the beautiful islands of Greece with a strong Meltemi up to the Turkish coast. This summer from Turkey we went west, touching Rhodes, Crete, the Peloponnese, Sicily, Malta, Sardinia, the Balearics and then out to Lanzarote.

As long as our forces will support us, we want to live on our boat filling our eyes with the ’wonders of the world. An ocean at the time, we want to reach Australia.

A couple of young friends, sailors from Barcelona, Ana and Eduardo, that we met in Crete, will come with us to share and enjoy this Atlantic crossing.”

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Constantin Goth & Urte Lindenberg S/V Hapa Na Sasa

In summer 2012, we started our first tentative sailing adventure as a family with a chartered boat. The aim of this test cruise on the Baltic was for us (Constantin and Urte) to see if the girls (Franka, Louisa and Paula) enjoyed sailing as much as their parents.

So, now we are joining the Atlantic Odyssey with our Oceanis 46 “hapa na sasa”. In kiSuaheli this means “here and now”. Together as a family we want to enjoy the moment, spend time in the Caribbean, and take loads of unforgettable experiences with us back to Stuttgart, Germany. Our plan was set up for 12 months, but who knows how it might change?

Constantin, Urte, Franka (12), Louisa (10) and Paula (7)

Blog (in German): www.auszeit-mit-kindern.de
Twitter (in German): twitter.com/@OFF45392364

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Atlantic Odyssey II (La Palma – Martinique)

Luc and Yveline Formagne S/V Doudou

We have spent a long time considering this project, of sailing to the Antilles with our boat. In order to reconcile travelling with work, it seemed easier to split the itinerary into several stages.

For the longest stage, the transatlantic crossing, our ideal was not to sail on our own, although equally, neither with hundreds of other boats!

It was then that we heard about the l’Atlantic Odyssey which sounded just what we were looking for:

  • friendliness
  • the pleasure of meeting up with other crews (no doubt with the same concerns as us) and to share our experiences
  • the opportunity to profit from the rich sailing experience of the organisers
  • without of course forgetting the reassurance of our voyage being tracked ashore

The creation of the Atlantic Odyssey rally decided our departure. Thanks to Jimmy Cornell and his team.

Blog (in French) : www.abordedoudou.com

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Colin Darling S/V Finally My Darling

After buying our boat in Croatia and starting cruising in March 2013, we always knew that we’d cross the Atlantic and ultimately the Pacific to finally get our Lagoon back to Australia by about the end of 2017.

For us, the ARC was too early, and too expensive. The Atlantic Odyssey on the other hand was affordable, and a January crossing fitted perfectly with our agenda. Having one of our crew under the age of 16 was an added bonus, giving us a great discount. In addition to travelling with an organised group, we’ll no doubt benefit from the social interaction along the journey and well in to the future.

Our boat is a 2006 built Lagoon 440 owners version. We have 3 large solar panels, a large generator, a 140ltr/hour water maker, a dive compressor. Our sail wardrobe includes a huge para-sail which we hope to fly for much of the crossing.

Our crew includes:

  • Myself, owner and skipper. Col Darling, Australian citizen 66 years of age. 21 years Royal Australian Navy service 1964-1984. Retired bulk materials handling & port operations specialist – Australian coal export industry. Have held an Australian masters certificate since 1982. Served in Vietnam as a Navy Clearance diver 1968-69 doing explosive Ordnance Disposal tasks. Our small 6-man Australian team was awarded a US Presidential Citation signed by President Nixon for one of our actions in Vietnam.
  • My son-in-law Mike Van de Riet. Canadian but now also an Australian citizen, aged 34. Formerly from Nova Scotia and Whistler in Canada. Top snow-boarder and snow field groomer.
  • Daughter Brooke Darling aged 34. Holds a university Tourism and Marketing degree, and is now a budding travel writer. Dual Australian and Canadian citizenship. Whistler – Blackcomb Tourism Media Coordinator for 2010 winter Olympics. Mike and Brooke have been cruising with us since 2013.
  • Mr Douglas (Doug) Gardiner. UK citizen aged 51. Doug owns and skippers his own 44′ mono sail boat. Doug has extensive cruising experience and holds numerous sailing qualifications.
  • Master William Gardiner aged 13. William has sailed with parents for the last 3 years in the Mediterranean.

My wife of 38 years Pamela (Pam) has limited mobility so will not be doing the crossing but will meet us in the Caribbean soon after our arrival

We plan to be in the AO nominated marina in La Palma from 23rd December where Doug and William Gardiner will join us. We look forward to sharing Christmas and New Years celebrations with those gathering for the crossing.

Blog: www.finallymydarling.com

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Elke & Walter de Lacasse S/V Sunrise

Elke and Walter de Lacasse are sailing Sunrise, their Sunbeam 39, through Northern Europe during the summer of 2014, with plans to cruise the Canary Islands during October and November, before taking part in the Atlantic Odyssey II in January 2015.

Blog (in German): www.sy-sunrise.de

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Jose Ramon Songel S/V Sea Horse 3

This is our first Atlantic crossing adventure and we find the proposal from Jimmy Cornell quite interesting.

What we are looking for is great organisation, be covered and helped in any hard situation and of course the relationship between all sailor community what is formed by the participants.

The Atlantic Odyssey was our choice and we hope to enjoy sailing and sharing time with all of you.

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