P.A.E to host first transatlantic rally for powerboats; Nordhavn Atlantic Rally begins May 2004

Dana Point, Calif.-(February 14, 2003)- For powerboat owners who dream of crossing the Atlantic to cruise the Mediterranean, Pacific Asian Enterprises offers the opportunity of a lifetime next summer as it hosts the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally 2004-a three leg, 3500-mile cruising adventure from Newport, R.I. to Gibraltar. P.A.E., the designer and developer of the Nordhavn line of oceangoing power vessels, recently demonstrated the long-range cruising capabilities of even small full-displacement powerboats with the successful completion of a global circumnavigation in less than six months aboard a production Nordhavn 40.

“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 Jim Leishman, vice president of P.A.E. and veteran circumnavigator. “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 open to the owners of qualified oceangoing powerboats. The event will take the fleet from Newport R.I. to Gibraltar via Bermuda and the Azores. For those that don’t wish to return on their own bottoms, P.A.E. will arrange for special discount rates to have boats shipped back to the United States once the rally is completed.

The rally will begin with outfitting and inspections in Rhode Island. On May 20 (weather-permitting) the fleet will make the 600-mile voyage to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton, Bermuda. P.A.E. staff will await arrival of the fleet and provide assistance with government formalities, provisioning and refueling. The fleet will travel in two groups dictated by the vessels’ speed and capability and owner preference.

After provisioning and time to enjoy Bermuda, the fleet will depart about June 3 to make the 1800-mile passage to Horta within the Azores Island group. This passage will be completed by the larger vessels in as little as 8 1/2 days while the smaller boats will take as long as 11 days. As in Bermuda, P.A.E. shore-side staff will be on hand to assist and welcome our fleet into port and to arrange for activities and fleet parties.

On June 26 (weather permitting) the fleet will leave Horta for the last leg across the Atlantic into the Mediterranean and on to Gibraltar, a distance of 1100 miles. After completing the rally, each vessel will be in position to enjoy the Mediterranean individually or within groups.

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 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 with mechanics on lead and chase
    vessels for en-route repair;
  • Emergency fuel reserves with boat-to-boat transfer capabilities;
  • Limited towing capability;
  • Diver for underwater repairs;
  • Daily roll calls;
  • 24-hour monitoring of designated VHF and SSB frequencies;
  • Daily weather briefings;
  • Physician for medical emergencies;
  • Shoreside staff in Hamilton, Bermuda; Horta, Azores; and Gibraltar to assist owners with government formalities, provisioning, fuel and shoreside group activities;
  • Special group rates for transatlantic return aboard Specialty Yacht Carriers.

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. “Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a small yacht is serious business, and it is not without risk,” Leishman said. “We aim to reduce the risk in many ways, including traveling in convoy with escorts, using professional weather routing advice, and having doctors and mechanics onboard escort vessels. While we can reduce the risk of an ocean crossing significantly, we cannot eliminate it. All participants must be prepared for rough weather or other circumstances that would limit or even prevent assistance from P.A.E. escort vessels in the event of a mechanical failure or injury. If multiple boats require assistance simultaneously, PAE escort support could be overwhelmed. Ultimately, each captain bears the responsibility for the safety and well-being of his yacht and crew; each and every participant must understand the limits of PAE’s support.”

In order to assure a successful event for all, P.A.E. will limit the number of participating vessels and require that each meet strict and rigorous qualifications.

Renowned circumnavigating yachtsman 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.

“We are still in the planning phase of this event and some of what we envision may change,” said Leishman. “But we expect to produce an exciting and rewarding experience for all who participate.”

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