The 4th edition of the Viking Explorers Rally Kicks Off in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The fourth edition of the Viking Explorers Rally will land for the first time in beautiful Grenada, the spice island of the Caribbean.
The Viking Explorers rally has so far been a tremendous success with this year´s event being indeed a very special one due to the Pandemic. The organization has had a big support by many, where everyone has contributed to the success, adapting to the continuous changing health protocols. Also’ a big challenge for the participants to first reach the Canary Islands and then getting ready under constant health protocol changes.
With 9 boats on this year’s event, ranging from 35 to 52 feet from 11 different countries, the participants are keen cruisers that agree to the rally’s ethos of helping each other as much as possible.
“With this exclusive smaller group, we can concentrate more on each participant and it does increase also the safety factor, and everybody gets to know each other” says Carlota Texeira, native Canarian and PR for the Viking Explorers.
Since the 13th of December, participants have enjoyed safety seminars, provisioning and first aid seminars, and the new and well accepted seminar “Tricks and Tips for the Caribbean”. They have visited the old town and are enjoying their stay on Gran Canaria.
The crews will depart Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the 6th of January and will arrive some 2800 miles later in Port Louis Marina, in Grenada. This year, some boats will stop in Mindelo some 850 miles from the Canary Islands to stock up and continue their way across the Atlantic. Others have decided to take the direct route.
This is the first year the Viking Explorers will arrive in Grenada, and the Grenada Tourism Authority, Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina and Westerhall Rum will welcome the sailors and make them feel like at home. An honor for these sailors after such an achievement and arriving weeks later on this side of the Atlantic.
The concept of Viking Explorers seems to be liked by real cruisers wanting to cross the social way, in a smaller group, as we say, “The Viking Explorers Family” and the organizers are looking already into the 5th edition with already 8 confirmed entry and many on the preliminary list.
The start is from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the 6th of January.
This year participants have the choice of two routes, the direct route to Port Louis Marina in Grenada, 2800 miles, or with an alternative stop in Mindelo, 850 miles and then 2200miles.
The Viking Explorers is a small, reduced fleet with a maximum of 25 boats. The ethos is not the biggest possible group, but the friendliest one and there is no compulsory equipment. The Viking Explorers tries not be so commercial as other events and focuses much more on a easy going familiar atmosphere.
Viking Explorers is not a race and the organization encourages the fleet to help each other.
The first Viking Explorers left Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2018 to Barbados being a completely free event with no sponsors.
Since 2018, the Viking Explorers do charge a low fee and has been supported by Tourism Authorities, companies, cruising associations and passionate sailors.
The Viking Explorers 2021 is sponsored by the Grenada Tourism Authority, Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina and Westerhall Rum. It has also the support from minor sponsors called “Friends of Viking Explorers”, like Imray, Hydrovane, Predictwind and the Marina of Tazacorte.
The Seven Seas Cruising Association, the Ocean Cruising Club, Trans-Ocean and Anavre have also supported the event since the start in 2018.
The Viking Explorers does a great effort in helping the environment. It collaborates with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Program Sail and Whale. Participants are encouraged to forward data with the sighting of cetaceans.
Also, many Eco-friendly companies are supporting the event by offering free product to participants.
The Viking Explorers tries to reduce their negative impact towards the environment, reduces drastically plastic used at their events, and creates awareness within the sailing community for a better and cleaner planet.
The organization has been in constant contact with the authorities and have introduced all health protocols within their rally. PCR test are being organized with the collaboration of the Hospital Pepetuo Socorro, as boats will only be able to leave with a negative result obtained a few hours before departure. The crews are advised to take extra cautions and to follow at all times the changing protocols.
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