We are on the hunt for young adventurous sailors, who we hope to send around the world in a little boat, all by themselves. Imagine the sights they would see, the people they could meet, the horizons they should cross and the challenges and life they will face. Imagine if that were you?
Are there any young sailors (under 21) out there who would like to follow in the footsteps of “Dove” and Robyn Lee Graham, Tania Aebi or Brian Caldwell, even Joshua Slocum? Maybe you are not into “solo” sailing, so would rather follow someone like Alby Mangels and take your mate along? Then again, if you are that young, you probably do not even know who these people are?
Five years ago, I decided to support a very young Jessica Watson accomplish her dream. I set the ball rolling by first supplying a boat. Pretty simple really and the rest is history. It was an adventure of massive proportions, solo and non-stop, around the great capes, in a little Sparkman and Stephens 34. That courageous voyage and the enthusiasm and passion of her followers from around the world, will possibly never be repeated.
Recently I started considering how best to celebrate my 60th birthday in January 2015. I will be in Antarctica and am not big on parties, so I though, Hmmm??? wouldn’t it be great, to send one or two young people off on a cruising adventure, to circumnavigating the world!!.
Over the past 25 years, I have supported in one way or other, most of the solo sailors that have set out from Australia, all following dreams or chasing records. They came to me for advice, sponsorship or logistic support, which on most occasions I was happy to give, even if only in a small way. This time it is different. Now I am looking for any young sailor, or sailors, who are prepared to give their all and face life on the ocean waves, circumnavigating this “Blue/Green” Planet and in the process, becoming ambassadors for “Adventure” and the “Environment”. Is that you, or someone you know?
Jessica is excited about this new voyage and full of praise for the opportunity and adventure it offers young Australians. Don’t worry, you will not have to wear pink, but it will be comforting to know Jessica will be your mentor. Margie McIntyre my long-time adventure partner and now good friend, is going to manage the expedition and look after logistics, so the crew will be in good hands!
If I find the right person, or team, who have what it takes, I will provide the yacht and all the equipment to safely sail around the world. The voyage should take between 18 to 24 months and could change the life of the crew and inspire others. The boat is a “Tradewind 35”, perfect for the voyage with a solid offshore reputation. The crew will prepare and refit the boat with the new equipment themselves. They will bring their own personal kit and find their food along the way. They will leave from Sydney on May 2nd 2015, probably via Darwin, Indian Ocean to Cape Town, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean through Panama and then across the Pacific Ocean, back to grand welcome in Sydney in November 2016 .
The official launch of the hunt for youth circumnavigators, is at a lunch in Sydney, on October 10 at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Jessica and I hope to select the crew by the end of December.
SO? Will anyone apply? If they do, will they or will they not be good enough? Let’s wait and see but I truly hope so. It would be the best 60th birthday present in the world for me and very exciting for Margie and Jess, to be waving off one, or two, young Australians, on their adventure of a lifetime next year!!
If you are interested, applications will be open to any individual, or two person team, who are at least 16 and not older than 21 years of age, on 30th April 2015. You will need to prove that you have what it takes and show a passion for life, the environment, our oceans and sharing this adventure. If no individual or team in our opinion is found to be suitably qualified, then the voyage will not take place.
- Don McIntyre