to the first Newsletter
Big news indeed…
Just one hour ago, ‘Canasta’, a stunning 42’
Grand Soleil became my new boat and a massive boost to the w2n project. Well,
subject to a survey and sea-trials of course but from what I’ve seen and
read, that should just be a formality. So, maybe I’m jumping the gun
slightly but I’m so excited about it. It occurred to me on Friday that I
had been using this particular yacht as the benchmark against which all the
other potential contenders were measured. The Grand Soleil is widely regarded
as a ‘performance blue-water cruiser’ and being just a little older
than many of those I’d seen, the build quality is outstanding. She was
built in Italy
with long-distance cruising in mind and has even been slightly modified to suit
shorthanded (or single-handed) sailing.
As many of you know, I have been tempted all along by the
lure of a modern or even new production boat. The Beneteau Oceanis 40 is
certainly beautiful with her lovely broad cockpit and spacious interior but she
would have completely blown the budget. So many people, far more knowledgeable
than me, singled out the Grand Soleil from my shortlist as their boat of
choice. I had serious doubts about the suitability not just of the Beneteau but
of most modern production boats and I really feel I’ve made an educated
and well-advised decision.
The w2n project is being underwritten by a very limited
budget and it is comforting indeed to know that there is still enough money to
upgrade some of the navigation equipment and add a few essentials and personal
touches. I can really get things moving now though and will be begging,
borrowing and stealing to get her ready for my departure in about six months.
I bought ‘Yachting Monthly’ yesterday and was
delighted to see that on page eight, they have published a news item about the
w2n project. Entitled ‘Dicing with Life’, it’s just a brief
introduction to the concept but having spoken to the editor, I’m told
that the magazine is keen to follow the project closely. I’ve also
received emails from Voiles et Voiliers in France and Yachting World both
asking for photos to accompany editorial. Well, until now, I’ve had to
make do with some rather generic pictures of me at the helm of various boats.
Today’s developments though will be a massive boost to the project not
just for morale but for publicity as I can now present the boat, the w2n
branding and me as a cohesive package.
The ‘Wicor’ Man
Again, I might be slightly jumping the gun here but
I’m fairly confident that ‘Canasta’ will be moved to
Wicormarine in Fareham. I made arrangements in
anticipation of today’s news and have, in principle, secured a quiet
pontoon mooring that’ll be accessible on all tides. I spoke to Scott
Waddington from Wicormarine yesterday and was told that the boatyard has been
associated with several high-profile circumnavigations not least of which is
Sir Chay Blyth’s unsuccessful attempt at the Golden Globe in 1968 aboard Dytiscus. In fact, it was Scott’s
father who taught Sir Chay to sail! Besides this historical precedent, with Portsmouth just half an
hour up-river, this entire area is synonymous with sailing and would be a very
appropriate place from which to officially launch the w2n circumnavigation
Ok, so this
has got nothing at all to do with the w2n project but those of you who know me,
know that I try to complete the London Marathon every year. Well, this year is
inevitably going to be my last for several years and once again, I’ll be
raising money for the Spinal Injuries Association. This year, I’ve raised
the stakes a little. Not one marathon – three – in one month! London will be first on 13th
April, the Neolithic Marathon next on 4th May and finally, the
Halstead & Essex Marathon on 11th May. London
and Halstead are both very flat road courses but the Neolithic is a challenging
hilly route across Salisbury plain finishing at Stonehenge.
SIA is very worthy charity so please click on the
‘justgiving’ link to pledge some money today.
That’s all for now. Thanks for your interest in the
w2n project and please don’t hesitate to contact me with your comments
and thoughts. Please feel free to participate in the forum on the w2n website
and introduce your friends to the project.
All my very best,
W2N Global Ltd.
4 Hampshire House
Hampshire GU30 7SP
+44 (0)1428 727795