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GJW Direct 2020

2020 Viking Explorers Rally - Registration now open

by Oliver Solanas 17 Mar 2019 19:27 GMT
2020 Viking Explorers Rally route map © Oliver Solanas

Mike Westin and Oliver Solanas Heinrichs wrote the 'Cruising Guide to the Canary Islands' together and now arrange the Viking Explorers friendly rally across the Atlantic. For the second year, the rally will land in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They will remain in the Grenadines for a month to write articles for the European boating press, helping to develop tourism to the islands.

Viking Explorers has been a tremendous success. The participants got along well and became fast friends, immensely enjoying their time together. "We do this for the fun of it and to meet new friends," says founder Mike Westin.

The participants are keen cruisers who agree with the rally's ethos of helping each other as much as possible from first aid lectures to lending special tools. This is a low cost option for cruising in company across an ocean. If cruisers want to be served everything, there are commercial alternatives that may suit better.

Participating boats are in the 34-44+ foot range and a significant proportion of the skippers/crew are in their late twenties who are out on a gap year before getting kids, a house, and a Volvo. That said, the oldest skipper is 73, and the crew is even older, but Richard Fellows on "Elemiah del Mar" agreed to being "young at heart".

"This is such a lovely bunch of cruisers," says Oliver, "who anticipate impromptu beach parties and get-togethers long after the end of the rally. The crews landed at Blue Lagoon Marina in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines during the first week in February, where they had a few rum punches and wound down to island time amidst a rich social life with the other participants.

The third Viking Explorers Rally will start January 5, 2020 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. There will be a maximum of about 20 boats to make the experience the best for the participants. Some 13 boats have already preliminarily signed up and there are queries for 2021 the concept of Viking Explorers seems to be liked by real cruisers wanting to cross the social way.