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ARC 2015 Stories


A small selection of the interesting boats, people and personal stories that can be found in the ARC 2015 fleet.


A sailing family’s life dependent on the prevailing wind!


Friskus (NOR)


Hanse 445


The Brattum family

Friskus VI is a Hanse 445 sailed by the Brattum family from Asker, Norway; Silje (born 2010), Øyvind (born 2008), Elise (born 2005) and parents Elisabeth and Frode. They have been planning for a one year trip for several years, and are looking forward to taking their children to see new places and spend a lot of family time together.


Elisabeth grew up with her family’s cruiser whereas Frode has been a passionate dinghy‐racer ever since he got the optimist dinghy Friskus I, at age 6 from his grandfather. Elise taking on the challenge with her optimist dinghy Solstråle”, no doubt they are a true sailing family. Friskus VI is certainly a cruiser, however she is definitely geared up to cruise fast.


The Norwegian name “Friskus” means “someone sporty, who sails in all weather, not afraid of exploring what nature brings”. After the ARC, the Brattum family will see how they find life on board before we decide what to do next.


Elisabeth says, “On board Friskus VI, most things are planned and organised and we feel well prepared for our journey. However, for this trip, we have planned to not plan everything as we will explore the slow life with the flexibility to see what comes next. Not to forget that a sailor’s life shall

be dependent on the prevailing wind!”





Conquering fear for the family trip of a lifetime


Pure Elegance (GBR)   


Dufour 560                            


Graham and Lynda Ponsford                            

"To be honest, I have never liked sailing." Lynda Ponsford bravely admits, "I purely do it to keep my husband happy and also, I don't want to miss out on all the memories. Future discussions of each trip, would leave me feeling left out. The water has always frightened me." The turning point came when she joined her husband Graham and sons James and Matthew set sail with ARC 2011 on board their previous boat, a Dufour 45e Chosen One. "It truly was an amazing experience and one that I


am so glad I did." Fast forward 4 years and Lynda, Graham and youngest son Matt, now 22, are now sailing with ARC 2015 to reach the start of an even bigger adventure; they will begin a circumnavigation with World ARC 2016 from Saint Lucia in January.





The ultimate retirement adventure


Pantalaimon II (GBR)


Rustler 42 


Anna Johnson and Alex Mayor

So far 2015 has been a very exciting year for Anna and Alex. They retired in February from their jobs as Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetists (Alex also Medical Director Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust ) and began the year with 5 weeks skiing before getting married in April and setting sail on their pre‐ ARC adventures in May. In the summer, they arrived on their Rustler 42 in Lisbon and onto Gibraltar at the end of August where Anna completed her practical Yachtmaster. It has taken 10 years of

talking and planning to reach the ARC start line – they bought a Rustler 42 3 years ago for their move to live‐aboards, selling their much loved Bavaria 36 which had been their family cruiser together with their 6 children. “We love adventure and challenges and are very excited about the Atlantic crossing. We also like the social element of the ARC as well as the safety aspects.”





Sail for Justice Using the open water as an alternative to juvenile offender

incarcerationDefy the Odds (USA) Macgregor 65

Sail Future Project 

Five juvenile offenders have been selected by SailFuture to participate in its Sail For Justice program set up to utilize the open water as an alternative to prison incarceration. The organization specializes in preventing youth incarceration and rehabilitating those affected by a broken juvenile justice system. Based in Sarasota, Florida, USA, since 2012 SailFuture has worked with judges, state attorneys, public defenders and advocacy groups to design sailing‐based programs that have transformed more than 150 lives. With criminal charges ranging from murder to grand theft auto,

the young men selected for the ARC crew are considered some of the highest‐risk juvenile offenders

in the country. They had never stepped foot on a sailboat before joining the program in September, but are spending two months participating in an Olympic‐style training program to prepare for a safe and fast Atlantic crossing. They will become watch leaders, navigators, pitman, foredeck crew and mechanics. Two captains will be on board to supervise the transatlantic crossing, but ultimately all ship operations and tactical sailing decisions will remain with the five crewmembers.


Four legged crew members


Dawn Chorus (GBR)


Southerly 49RST


Dawn Kelly and Martin Whitfield

Dawn and Martin began their adventure more than two years ago, sailing in ARC Europe with Alice in Red, a Vancouver 36. Martin has just retired and they have downsized the house and upsized the boat to a Southerly 42. Extras include Hydrovane steering, Rutland wind generator, new Code 0 sail, new Digital Yacht wireless AIS while the lifting keel and engine have been overhauled. Joining Dawn

and Martin are two companions and their two dogs ‐ Bonnie and Buzz.





On the high seas with May the Maltese


Magic (GBR)


Hanse 540e


Tina and Mark Davies with May the dog

Mark and Tina are entrepreneurs with their own businesses an advertising agency and an innovation management company The plan is to continue their work from their new full time watery home! Tina is originally from Belfast and has been around boats since she was born, meanwhile Mark learned to sail when they got married. Tina admits that the boss on board is May, their seven year old Maltese Terrier.





Beyond the Baltic for cruising family


Via (GER)


Beneteau Cyclades 39


Kathrin, Vincent (15) and Jörg Grönitz

For Jörg, patriarch of the Grönitz family, it’s been a lifelong dream to cross the Atlantic. He has taken a year off from freelance work, whilst his wife takes a sabbatical too, and their 15 year old son Vincent has put his studies on hold. They bought their boat, a Beneteau Cyclades 39, knowing she already had one ARC rally under her keel, and was well equipped to take them across to the Caribbean. They have upgraded the electronics and fixed a few parts along the way too. Jörg is particularly looking forward to discovering new sailing areas beyond their usual cruising ground of

the Baltic, and spending time together as a family.






Pre‐Wedding Adventure 


Sea Symphony (GBR)


Formosa 51     


Michael Dye & Lesley Hayes

Formerly in the building trade, in 2008 Mike decided to move to Kent and take on a new building project – this time a houseboat by converting an old Thames Lighter. Through the Medway Yacht Club, he adapted to life afloat and sailed a Beneteau First 325 through the French Canals to the Ionian where he met Lesley who was working at the Vilho Yacht Club. After a few years starting a life together on Lefkada, Mike and Lesley wanted more adventure and to have new experiences. Mike sailed with ARC 2012 on board Poespas, an Amel 54, which made him want to do it on his own boat

and so the search for a boat to sail across the Atlantic together began. After looking at many boats in

many countries, they chose the first option they had seen in Lefkas Marina ‐ a Formosa 51 built in

1979. They have undertaken a refit to make her ‘ARC‐ready’, and they will be joined on board by 3 or

4 friends. On arrival, Mike and Lesley plan to get married in the Caribbean.





Following Norita? There’s an app for that


Norita (NOR)


Dufour Performance 36


Andre Ugland

Sailing the ARC has long been a dream of Norita's skipper Andre Ugland and they will be fully documenting their adventure with 4 GoPro cameras on board with livestream and full HD drone. Their love of gadgets might make the boat the worlds most equipped 36 feet Dufour Performance in the world! Although many boats blog few can claim to have they own bespoke app to share their experiences, but Norita’s skipper Andre has developed one especially for the voyage. With the app friends and family can constantly monitor vessel movements and the crew also publish photos on instagram, and can update the Facebook page. See and





Unfinished business for friends raising money for Parkinsons UK


Rhumb (GBR)


Starlight 39


Jon Underwood

Originally, 26 year old Starlight 39 Rhumb was due to sail with ARC 2014, but sadly, as a result of an unwell skipper and sick boat they had to withdraw from the rally. Auto‐helm problems were encountered which meant a return to Marina San Miguel, Tenerife to get this checked out and eventually repaired. Alongside of this, experienced skipper David Barber had to leave the boat due to the effects of his recently diagnosed illness Parkinsons. Despite all the setbacks, the yacht has been checked over and tested thoroughly this year and with the owner/skippers blessing has been

entered for ARC 2015 unfortunately, because of the continuing effects of Parkinsons he will not be sailing this time. However the crew have focussed their fundraising efforts for Parkinsons UK by setting up a Just Giving page and encouraging those donating to make a guess at the passage time and distance covered. The crew consists of four friends, two of which have known each other since

their school days.





“Naval tradition is nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash”‐ Winston



Ruby Rose (GBR)


Southerly 38


Terysa Vanderloo and Nick Fabri

This is the first Atlantic crossing for the crew of Ruby Rose which comprised of Nick and his partner

Tyresa, together with friends Neil and John. Their blog (taken

from an (alleged) quote from Winston Churchill) shares their story in detail of their Southerly 38 that Nick and Terysa commissioned in 2011 for their adventure. They have embraced the live‐aboard lifestyle by renting out their London flat and put everything into storage. Nick's dental practice was sold and Terysa quit her job ‐ the eventual aim is a circumnavigation.





Roles assigned on Shiva


Shiva (NED)




Hermann Schapp

Herman and Inge are coowners of Shiva, a three year old XC‐45, and are experienced sailors with a shared dream of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Herman and Inge have asked their daughter Mariette to join this unique journey and she will be supporting Inge with the provisioning and “boatkeeping”.

Mariette is bringing her boyfriend Daan, who will be responsible for the crew’s health and well‐being

as Shiva Doctor and as Fisherman catching fresh and healthy dinners. Gerard, a friend of Herman and Inge's will be on the trip as Shiva’s Chief Engineer therefore responsible for all technical aspects of the Shiva and its equipment. Completing the multigenerational crew is Nicoline, good friend of Mariette and Daan who will be taking care of logging, blogging, possibly vlogging and all other communicative activities for Shiva as the ship’s Communication Manager.



Anglo‐American family sell up and sail away


Britican (GBR)


Oyster 56


Simon, Kim and Sienna Brown

Kim Harkola Brown, joint‐owner of Britican, was born in Rochester, New York in 1974 and moved to England in 1998. One year later, she married her British prince, Simon Brown, and after thinking for a very long time about children, Sienna Maddison Brown came along in 2010.


SailingBritcan started as an idea over 15 years ago when Kim and Simon discussed their dreams of sailing around the world. For the first 10 years their discussions revolved around buying a very specific yacht an Oyster. And 5 years back the name ‘Britican’ was created while on vacation. Simon asked, ‘What will we name our yacht when we get her?’ They played with various words and thought a combination of British and American might work. Little did they know that it was a proper term.


Britican is defined in the Urban Dictionary as: a language/accent blending british and american together as one‐ like a sandwich. BRITish + amerICAN = BRITICAN


After 15 years, the dream became a reality when the Brown’s purchased a 56′ Oyster Yacht and named her Britican. They left the UK in 2014 and have spent a year adjusting to boat life in the Mediterranean and are home schooling Sienna, now aged 5. Kim has been brutally honest in her blog of adjusting to life afloat, at times causing controversy picked up by the UK tabloid press. The

ARC will be their first ocean crossing.



Three Generations On Board


Azimuth (SWE)


Amel Santorin


Johanna Gardner and family

Three generations of the same family are sailing on board Amel Santorin Azimuth, the youngest, River turns 2 as the ARC office opens in Las Palmas. He is sailing with his parents, Patrick and Johanna, and Johanna’s father Jens is also joining them for the trip. Johanna also sailed with ARC

2014 as a charter boat crew on Southern Child and is delighted to be returning for the ARC on board

their own boat this year.


Going electric Limone (FIN) Maestro 40

Janne Kjellman

The Maestro 40 is a semi‐light displacement cruising boat built on the Finnish west coast. The boat owner was seeking a propulsion system to drive the boat in and out of harbours and to be able to motor in windless situations. The Oceanvolt SD8.6 saildrive electric motor system was a perfect match for the Maestro 40. The SD8.6 has enough power to allow manoeuvring in tight spaces. The regeneration function also allows the skipper to charge the batteries while sailing. A useful feature on longer voyages such as the ARC when the boat’s appliances can all be powered from the

propulsion battery.





A new boat for ‘Mr ARC

Albatros (GER) Oyster 82 Manfred Kerstan

For Manfred Kerstan ARC 2015, will be his 20th crossing with the rally, more than any other sailor,

and a record he is proud to hold and possibly the reason that the German media christened him Mr. ARC”. He’s relatively easy to spot in marinas with ARC flags from two decades adorning his rig. He started his sailing career in small racing boats, bought his first Swan in 1975 and called her Albatros. He sailed the 48‐footer for four years in the Med before he went on a circumnavigation which lasted

6 years. In 1986 he bought a new Swan 61, which he sailed double‐handed across the Atlantic with

the very first ARC. Albatros was the second boat over the finish line and received the Prime Minister Trophy. Altogether he has crossed the Atlantic 32 times and participated in many regattas among them the Cape Town to Rio Race and the Sydney‐Hobart Race. In 2001 he received the Commodore Price of the German Sailing Federation. Having previously swapped his Swan 61 for a Swan 62RS,

2015 will see him skippering his latest boat, an Oyster 82 all have carried the name Albatros.


Weather guru back on the start line

Taistealai (GBR) Wauquiez Centurion 40s Chris and Helen Tibbs

One of the early ARC sailors who has since become closely involved with the rally is ocean weather router Chris Tibbs, who sailed on very first ARC on board Moody 38, Meanmy, owned by Geoff Pitcher. Chris was sailing on Meanmy, as the professional skipper. Since then, having had an successful career as an ocean racer in events such as the Whitbread Round the World Race and the Global challenge, he as retrained as a meteorologist and is one of the world’s leading sailing metmen, routing famous boats in record attempts as well as amateur ocean sailors. A regular on the ARC team in Las Palmas, where he lectures on the rally route and expected weather, Chris will be sailing in ARC 2015 on board his own boat Taistealai, a Wauquiez Centurion 40s together with his wife Helen. She is another ARC veteran having sailed in the 3rd ARC in 1988 on board Amour, having joined in Palma de Mallorca as late crew addition.


Chris and Helen are joined on board by World Cruising Club’s Communications Director, Jeremy Wyatt. Having helped many thousands of ARC sailors prepare for their crossings, he is looking forward to sailing with them on the 30th edition.


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