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5th Edition of the Viking Explorers Rally

... and looking strong into the 6th Edition, the VE2023

The Viking Explorers 2022 was a total success, and for the 5th consecutive year a nice family was created within this exclusive international fleet.

Viking Explorers 2022 family at Port Louis Marina (Grenada)

22 boats participated on this year´s event, ranging from 34 to 60 feet from 10 different countries, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Australia, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Poland, set sail from the Canary Islands on the 6th of January.

This year the rally not only suffered the constant ever changing health protocols but was the slowest crossing since it started. The Azores High kept shifting away northwards as low pressure systems developed on lower latitudes, affecting the Tradewinds. After a strong start in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with strong winds up to 25-30knts for 2 days, the fleet had to deal with big calms throughout the crossing, using the engine more than expected, and only those with a more southerly route towards the Caribbean experienced better sailing conditions.

The Fleet Tracking Map by Predictwind is being monitored constantly

The crews departed Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the Canary Islands and arrived some 2800 miles later in Port Louis Marina, in Grenada. Those that stopped in Mindelo some 850 miles from the Canary Islands to stock up, or for a technical fuel stop continued their way across the Atlantic and only two boats decided to continue on the direct route to Grenada.

SY NAMO, Captain Pierre Jean, Floriane and Alexis, and Chinel Sandy from the Grenada Tourism Authority

Sy Kiah, an Island Packet 38 with English captain Tim Pollock, and SY Azores High, a Hylas 49, with Irish captain Alistair Harkness, decided not to stop in the Mindelo, Cape Verde. It took them 26 days and 25 days respectively.

Mindelo Marina welcomed all sailors and organized a Welcome Party with food and music at the famous Floating Bar. Steven from the Viking Explorers Team in Mindelo assisted all sailors and coordinated all needs together with the marina and authorities. PCR tests were organized and crews could stock up fresh food and fixed minor repairs.

S/Y Yolo with Captain Sebastian Radlund and his crew Ulrika, Dan and Magnus on their arrival in Marina Mindelo

S/Y ARI with captain Chris and crew Rosie and Robert on their stop for fuel in Mindelo

Captain Sebastian, Ulrika, Dan and Magnus from S/Y Yolo enjoying the welcome party in Mindelo

Barbara (SY Eleuthera), Susan (SY Misty Blue) and Diane (SY COPEPOD) enjoying the party in Mindelo

Marina Mindelo gave to S/Y Eleuthera a welcome basket for being the first boat to arrive in Marina Mindelo

S/Y Tindra with Captain Lars and his crew Cathrine, Carina and Peter at the party in Mindelo

Hew (SY Eleuthera), Joar, Martin and Peter of SY Felicia av Stockholm, at the welcome party in Marina Mindelo

Lutz Meyer, marina manager of Marina Mindelo, with his team, Ivanice and Jackie

Johan, Caisa, Eric and Lars from SY Victoria Explorer and Lars from Tindra at the party offered by Marina Mindelo

The crew of SY Eleuthera (Mark, Neville, Peter), Pierre Jean from SY Name and Reg from Misty Blue.

SY X to Go and SY Meander on the party in Mindelo

Crister and Marie from SY Trivento, Ulf from SY Victoria Explorer and Jonas from Felicia

After a week in Mindelo, the fleet departed from Cape Verde across the Atlantic, what was going to be a very slow crossing, as the Rally organizers kept monitoring the fleet and the weather conditions. No problem, nothing to worry about, as long they had enough fuel, water and food. But the fleet was well prepared and no big incidences where reported during the crossing. The usual broken spinnaker during a squall or other minor issues that did not affect the safety of the sailors.

As Barbara from SY Eleuthera stated: “We calculated for a crossing from Cape Verde to Grenada of about 12 days, it took us 15 days.”

Another issue reported was the amount of Sargasso weed founded already near the Cape Verde Islands, something not experienced in the previous years, where this weed was found normally after approximately half way through the Atlantic. This Sargasso weed does affect the Windpilots, hydrogenerators and fishing as sailors reported.

Arrival of S/Y Namo

Every time a boat arrives, The Viking Explorers team together with many other participants were there to welcome them

Carlota Texeira, PR, explaining to SY Namo what to do next

Arrival of SY Eleuthera, with Zara, Marina Manager and Chinel from the Grenada Tourism Authority, Rum Punch and a Welcome Basket was delivered to every boat

This is the second year the Viking Explorers arrive in Grenada, and the Grenada Tourism Authority, Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina welcomed the sailors and made them feel like at home. An honour for these sailors after such an achievement and arriving weeks later on this side of the Atlantic.

As boats were arriving, they were welcomed personally by Chinel Sandy from the Grenada Tourism Authority and Port Louis Marina manager Zara Tremlett, as well as fellow sailors and the Viking Explorers staff.

Beautiful Port Louis Marina

After their arrival, participants enjoyed several parties and Sundowners offered by the Grenada Tourism Authority, Port Louis Marina, Grenada Yacht Club, The Petit Calivigny Yacht Club, Budget Marine and Spice Island Marine Services, and the Welcome Ceremony at the True Blue Bay Resort.

Great Sundowner with food and music offered by the Grenada Yacht Club

Budget Marine organized a visit to their shop, and Spice Island Marine Services shew participants their hurricane safe yard. Participants also enjoyed some free pizza and rum punch at the One Love Bar.

The Viking Explorers were invited by the Petit Calivigny Yacht Club for a fun day of activities, including a hobbie cat regatta that was won by Jonas from SY Felicia.

At the Welcome Ceremony, Nikoyan Roberts, Manager of the Nautical Department from the Grenada Tourism Authority, welcomed the sailors, thanking them all for having chosen this island as their destination after the Atlantic Crossing. Zara Tremlett also welcomed all sailors, and Oliver Solanas Heinrichs, Managing Director of Viking Explorers and Carlota Texeira, PR for Viking Explorers, thanked everyone for contributing to such a great and friendly group.

Nikoyan Roberts, manager of the Nautical Department of the Grenada Tourism Authority welcoming the fleet

Zara Tremlett, marina manager of Port Louis Marina

Viking Explorers team, Oliver and Carlota, gave Zara a present from the Canary Islands, a nice volcanic stone vessel

Oliver Solanas, manager director of Viking Explorers

Grenada Tourism Authority gave Viking Explorers a present

All this is possible thanks to Port Louis Marina and Grenada Tourism Authority

Viking Explorers team brought from the Canary Islands a basket with local products for the Grenada Tourism Authority

Captain Sebastian, his wife Ulrika and crew Magnus from S/Y Yolo

Captain Johan and his crew Eric, Ulf, Caisa and Lars from S/Y Victoria Explorer

Captain Hermann, his wife Ute and crew Klaus from S/Y Thetis

Crister and Marie from S/Y Trivento

Phil and Helen from S/Y Sunflower

Florianne and Alexis from S/Y Namo

Captain Reg and his wife Susan together with his crew Karolina and Michal from S/Y Misty Blue

Tim Pollock, captain of S/Y Kiah

Captain Bernard and his wife Lauren from S/Y Imagine

Rebecka, Martin, Joar, Peter and Jonas from S/Y Felicia av Stockholm

Hakan and Karin from S/Y Elixir

Peter, Mark, Neville, Hew and Barbara from S/Y Eleuthera

Martin, Michael and Alistair from S/Y Azores High

Howard and Diane from S/Y COPEPOD

Chris and Rosie from S/Y ARI

Steelpan band New Dimension on the Welcome Ceremony at True Blue Bay

Howard Dryden received a special mention on the price giving for his project GOES

Jonas Wannfors was the youngest skipper of Viking Explorers 2022

Barbara and Hew from SY Eleuthera received the price for being the biggest boat of the fleet

Chris Evans captain of SY ARI, was the oldest captain of the fleet

Everyone enjoyed the music and the party at True Blue Bay

Everyone enjoyed the video with all the memories of the experience

Chocolate and rum tasting

Chocolate testing organized by True Blue Bay

The crew of SY Felicia av Stockholm performed a song that they wrote during the crossing

A great evening with food, rum and music in a true Caribbean Style

Participants received many gifts from sponsors, as each of them came on stage, and everyone was so amazed for being part now of this great family, where everybody knows each other. Some of the participants performed some songs on stage, while enjoying the Rum Punch, Finger food, and a Rum and Chocolate Tasting offered by True Blue Bay.

At the fun price giving, SY Namo, was awarded for being the newest boat, a Beneteau Sense 51 from 2018 and SY Meander, a Colvic 34 from year 1973 for being the oldest one. The price for the biggest boat went to SY Eleuthera, a Fountaine Pajot 60, from New Zealand, and for SY Kiah as the smallest boat, an Island Packet 380. The price was shared with SY Meander. The youngest captain was Jonas from SY Felicia av Stockholm (1975) and the oldest captain Chris Evans (1949), from SY Ari. The very special price, the “ Spirit of the Viking Explorers” went to SY Eleuthera, from New Zealand, whose crew made many good friends within the rally and had built up a strong camaraderie with all of them. , in the true ethos of this rally. A special award was also given to Dr. Howard Dryden and Diana Duncan from SY Copepod for their project GOES, having performed a research of plankton where 12 boats took part during the crossing.

A very emotional moment came at the end of the presentation, when the video of the Viking Explorers 2022 with all the memories since this fleet got together months ago got shown on screen. After that, the traditional Steel Pan Band “ New Dimensions” performed while participants enjoyed the evening and the never ending rum.

Participants are now enjoying the Caribbean, others are on their way to the Pacific, all of them still connected through the Viking Explorers WhatsApp Group, which is always active from December to June.

The rally Viking Explorers has been so far a tremendous success with this year´s event being indeed a very special one due to the Pandemic. The organization has had a big support by many, where everyone has contributed to the success, adapting to the continuous changing health protocols. Also a big challenge for the participants to first reach the Canary Islands and then getting ready under constant health protocol changes.

The concept of Viking Explorers seems to be liked by real cruisers wanting to cross the social way, in a smaller group , as they call themselves “ The Friendly Family” and the organizers are looking already into the 6th edition with already 18 confirmed entries and many on the preliminary list.

Thank you so much to all our sponsors for making this possible



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