Seven Musts Before Retirement
Cowes Week, UK, 2011 © Rick Tomlinson
SeaCart creator, Calle Hennix, talks about his passion for the best regattas around the world.
The SeaCart 26 is not only for tight exhilarating One Design racing around the cans. One important strategic key feature is that the boat is an exciting adventure platform for experience regattas and races around the world. I have a long background on the offshore scene including the Whitbread Around The World Race 89–90. I have always stressed that quality and toughness are the most important features on the SeaCart 26 design, rather than building it as light as possible so you may fly hulls in super light winds. The boat had to be able to cope with rough Atlantic swell or in 30 knots on the Solent with four knots of tide running against you. The feel you get when sailing a multihull in those conditions under control is a real experience of fantastic, pure sailing.
With ownership of a SeaCart 26 a large number of regattas open up around the world. From my own sailing having travelled the world and experienced great coastal races and fantastic regattas the thing that stands out the most is that visiting new countries really opens your eyes to new cultures, food and lifestyles and much more. But beyond that, it’s probably the best way to spend time with your mates doing something you all love.
On the flip side it is quite costly to campaign your own boat in foreign countries. But now you can experience international regattas in a SeaCart 26 without spending heaps of money, you only need crew of three to four including skipper and it is easy to tow on a trailer behind a normal car or sent abroad in a 40 foot container. If you join forces it can be made even more economical as two SeaCart 26’s fit inside one standard 40 foot container.
When you own a true high performance boat capable of sailing in the Caribbean, USA, France, Asia, Australia, UK, Scandinavia… that can take a real beating – i.e. when you purchase the SeaCart 26. My own experience is that we always got tremendous backup from organising clubs, they seem to support those that have made the effort and have come a long way to attend. At a venue the SeaCart 26 will create a lot of interest and inquiry – so let the fun begin. From my perspecive I’d like to recommend a few great races I have done and others I would like to do. With this in mind I have created a list for pure inspiration of what’s out there – It’s time to start dreaming and planning!
Seven ‘‘Must Do’’ Regattas before retirement or after ‘‘retirement’’. The events are listed in no particular order – and yes there are more fantastic regattas out there – So please feel free to send your recommendations to add to the list. Here we go…
Held in one of the worlds’ finest sailing waters by an organisation that knows how to conduct races and parties in style. Usually warm winds around 20–30 knots and water temperature around 27 degrees. Who can ask for more? When you are there you can do; Rolex International Regatta at St. Thomas USVI, Antigua Sailing Week, Course the Alliance at St. Maarten, Voile de St. Barth…
St. Maarten / Netherland Antilles / www.heinekenregatta.com
Kings Cup (KC) has set the pace in Asia. KC is their most renowned regatta having near perfect sailing conditions and evening parties that stand out. KC is the largest regatta in Asia and gives you a week in fast forward mode on all levels. For those living in colder countries (like me in Sweden) you should consider staying and do a few more races like: Top of the Gulf Regatta, Samui Regatta…
Phuket / Thailand / www.kingscup.com
KEY WEST REGATTA
This is a perfect first regatta of the new year. In nice temperatures in the most southern part of the US. Professionally driven and now open for multihulls in two classes. Great sailing, fantastic venue. Highly recommended. The SeaCart 30 has entered the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race www.keywestrace.org – We have to check if the 26 can race because this is a fast, fun, wet, must do stretch around the keys.
Florida / USA / www.premiere-racing.com
One of my favourite regattas that has it all. During a race you can have mist, heavy rain, 30 knots TWS and total calm – at the same time you have the tide pushing you back and fourth on the Solent. When you have dealt with those conditions the first beer afterwards makes you feel fantastic because today you have truly earnt it. Around 40 classes starting every day so the traffic on the Solent is solid so you need to check for boats in all directions – all the time. Big fun! The yachting sceene at Cowes Week is great and built on more than 180 years of tradition (since 1826). This is a regatta you seriously have to consider. You will probably sail it many times because the lure of Solent will make you come back for more!
Isle of Weight / UK / www.aamcowesweek.co.uk
ROUND THE ISLAND RACE
Probably the largest yacht race on the planet having 1,800 boats entering each year. Saturday morning at 04:00 you set off from the harbour to sail the 50 NM race around the island. You will sail past the notorius The Needles, St Catherines Point and navigate current up to 5 knots. A fantastic race that will test you and your crew’s skills to the limit. The party level in Cowes on Saturday night is set high – you dont want to miss out!
Isle of Weight / UK / www.roundtheisland.org.uk
TOUR DE BELLE-ILE
A fantastic round the island race. Imagine all entries, monohulls and multihulls, on one long starting line only separated by a starting wessel. A fantastic sight on the big bay. La Trinite is one of those sailing mekkas you just have to visit (like Cowes). Here you get an insight on the many giants of the French offshore scene (monos and multis) – in Trinite quite a few teams have there base. The French cuisine is also a good reason the be here in the spring.
La Trinite Sur Mere / France / www.tourdebelleile.com
THE BORDER RUN
In 2011 the Border Run became the largest point to point racing event in Southern California. Starting in Newport Beach rounding Coronado Island and finish in San Diego make this approx. 90 NM race a must do on my list!
Newport > San Diego / USA / www.theborderrun.org
There are lot of other races out there so I’d love to hear your ideas so we can write a follow up article. Until then send me your suggestions plus a short description! I’m looking forward to hearing from you, email here.