For the 7th consecutive year the Rally departed as scheduled on the 6th of January towards the beautiful shores of Grenada in the Caribbean. With an intermediate stop in Marina Mindelo in the Cape Verdes ; participants experienced very light wind conditions.
Our 25 boats of the Rally set sail to the Cape Verde Islands and after 6 days out at sea the first boats arrived, but for some it even took 7 days or even 8 to cover the 850 miles due to very light winds and a big low in the Atlantic that had been monitored closely by the Viking Explorers Tracking Team.
The fleet arrived safely in Marina Mindelo in São Vicente, and was warmly welcomed by Marlino from the Viking Explorers and the Marina Staff.
Since the rally started back in 2018 , the marina Mindelo in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde and its staff have always supported us and the relationship with them has always been superb. It is not only a friendly and safe marina, but the staff is focused and trained for rallies and the Cape Verdian community is always happy to welcome sailors.
In this case, Marina Mindelo always offers us a nice Welcome Party with drinks, finger food and music. Even if the "friendly rally" accepts boats choosing the direct route, we strongly recommend to stop here. And not only for the party or the islands.... It is a nice alternative to test your boat after leaving the Canary Islands and every year sailors thank the organisation for having chosen this stop.
The Viking Explorers fleet enjoyed the famous Welcome Party at the floating bar, with music, food and drinks, and Jackie Gomes, Marina Manager and her right hand, Ivanice Estevao, welcomed the fleet to this part of the world. A great afternoon in a true Cape Verde style.
During their stay, participants visited the market and surroundings of Mindelo and even had the opportunity to visit the neighbouring island of Santo Antão, which is completely different to São Vicente.
The departure scheduled for the 17th was discussed by many due to some strong winds but almost half of the fleet decided to leave, while others stayed in Mindelo for a day or more, expecting an improvement in the weather.
As always, at Viking Explorers the departures are scheduled and organized, but it is the captain's decision to decide to leave, weather permitting. The rally considers this prudent seamanship.