The VE2023 fleet departed on the 6th of January as scheduled from the Marina Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands, after the unanimous decision of the captains at the skippers briefing 2 days before the departure. Sailing south some 850miles towards the Cape Verde Islands is their first stop.
It has been months, probably for many, years of preparations to achieve their dream to cross the Atlantic.
The 11th of December the crews met for the very first time in Las Palmas Marina and since then participants had been preparing and checking their boats before the crossing of the Atlantic with the help of the organization.
The ever-growing camaraderie between the fleet was noted during a very bad southerly that surprised many during the night of the 26th of December and the following day, with some broken lines and damaged boats. Fortunately, no big damages occurred, and no one got injured.
Without an official time and date of departure the fleet decided to leave on the 6th of January around 11:00 UTC for their journey towards Mindelo Marina at Sao Vicente at the Cape Verde Islands.
With 17 monohulls and 6 multihulls, the smallest monohull is a Sigma 362 of 10,95 meters and the biggest monohull an Amel 54 of 17,50 meters. The smallest multihull is a Lagoon 380 of 11,50 meters and the biggest multihull is an Outremer 51 of 15,27m. The international fleet from Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, México, Canada, USA, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and UK will arrive in Mindelo Marina some 6days later and the Marina staff in Mindelo will take care of them, as they have done since the start of the rally back in 2018.
3 boats experienced some technical issues and departed the following day and SY Trim had to do a quick stop in Tenerife and La Gomera.SY Maiken, an Amel 54, with captain Peter Tinér from Sweden is taking the direct route, crossing the Atlantic without stopping at the Cape Verde and directly to Port Louis Marina in Grenada.
The fleet expects some stronger conditions within the 25knts range and some stronger swells from the north during a few days, easing down as they reach the Cape Verde Islands. The strong Azores High is giving the fleet some good strong NE TradeWinds.
Viking Explorers suggests the fleet to stop in Mindelo as a stopover before the big jump across the Atlantic to check the boat and maybe fix some issues.
After a few days in Mindelo, the fleet will cast of for their 2100 miles across the Atlantic, towards Port Louis Marina in Grenada.
The Viking Explorers 2023 is supported by the Grenada Tourism Authority, Camper& Nicholson Port Louis Marina, and Clarke’s Court Rum from the Grenada Distillery among many other companies that also sponsor and support the event.
Port Louis Marina in Grenada is a marina chosen by many after an Atlantic Crossing as sailors have all the services they might need. Friendly people and an enormous sailing scenario just add value to this destination, furthermore it has been awarded as The Yachting destination of the year by the Caribbean Travel Awards 2023 and will host the Viking Explorers for the 3rd time. Once in Grenada, participants will enjoy the island and several activities before the Official Welcome Ceremony and fun price giving at the tropical True Blue Bay Resort and Marina on the 6th of February 2023.