More than 70 boats apply to participate in Nordhavn Atlantic Rally; World’s first transatlantic powerboat rally starts in Florida, May 16, 2004

Pacific Asian Enterprises has received applications from more than 70 boatowners interested in participating in the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally-the first trans-Atlantic rally for oceangoing powerboats.

“When we announced the rally we knew that interest would be high,” said Jim Leishman, vice president of Pacific Asian Enterprises. “But we had no idea that it would be this high.”

P.A.E. has received 78 applications including 54 from Nordhavn owners and 24 from owners of vessels built by other manufacturers. Many have expressed an interest in using the rally as the first step for extended cruising in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

As the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally 2004 draws closer, Leishman said that he expects the number of prospective participants will decline a bit as schedules and situations change. But, for event organizers, the biggest hurdle now is to select boats that will participate in the invitational event. Rally participation will be limited in order to ensure that the fleet receives the most effective on-the-water support possible.

“We designed the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally as a way for those who dream of ambitious passage making to clear the first hurdle safely and with the comfort of knowing that support is immediately at hand,” said Leishman. “We’d like to take everyone, but we don’t have the resources to be able to do so and still provide the level of support needed.”

Fleet will depart from Florida, May 16
The Nordhavn Atlantic Rally, a three-leg, 3800-mile cruising adventure, is slated to begin with a fleet rendezvous on May 9, 2004 at a marina to be determined in southern Florida. Originally, the rally was to have started in Newport, R.I.; but, a large number of the prospective participants preferred a Florida departure. P.A.E. will name a host marina soon. Weather permitting, dates for the event are:

May 9-15 Fleet rendezvous, registration, preparation, seminars and social events
May 16 Smaller boats depart for Bermuda. Approx. 900nm
May 17 Larger boats depart for Bermuda
May 22 All boats arrive Bermuda (Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Hamilton)
May 29 Smaller boats depart for Azores. Approx. 1800nm
June 1 Larger boats depart for Azores
June 10 All boats arrive Horta, Azores. (Horta Marina, Horta, Faial)
June 19 Smaller boats depart for Gibraltar. Approx. 1100nm
June 21 Larger boats depart for Gibraltar
June 28 All boats arrive Gibraltar (Marina Bay)
July 4 Rally concludes in Gibraltar

Social events at each venue are being planned, including a grand finale/Fourth of July celebration in Gibraltar.

Adventure of a lifetime
On the heels of the record-breaking Nordhavn 40 Around the World Voyage, Pacific Asian Enterprises created the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally to offer others the opportunity to visit distant cruising grounds safely and comfortably. ”

Advancements in naval architecture and boat building technology have created a class of full-displacement vessels with remarkable sea-keeping abilities and incredible cruising ranges,” said Leishman. “We build Nordhavns to make adventures possible and this event will help to introduce a whole new group of people to the thrills of trans-oceanic passage making.”

The Nordhavn Atlantic Rally 2004 is an invitational event. A key facet of this event will be support not only at the stopovers, but also during every mile of the trip. P.A.E. will staff a number of specially selected Nordhavns that will serve as escort vessels to lead and follow the groups and will provide assistance to the fleet including mechanical and technical support, weather routing, emergency fuel reserves, limited towing capacity, and medical support. P.A.E. will also provide shore-side logistical support and social events.

While P.A.E. is eager to provide all the support possible, Leishman reminds all participants that the safety of the vessels and crews is the responsibility of each captain.

“Transoceanic passage-making is serious business and safety is paramount,” said Leishman. “While we will do all that we can to ensure a pleasant voyage, it is up to each captain to be responsible for the safety and conduct of his vessel and crew.”

Renowned circumnavigator and TV/film director Bruce Kessler will accompany the fleet to create a documentary film of the voyage. Kessler and TV producer Jo Swerling, Jr. hope to generate network interest in the documentary. The film will cover not only the transatlantic voyage, but also individual experiences of the participants. In addition, a group of journalists will be invited to participate in the event.

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