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Well, as Maybe Sailing was becoming increasingly busy and TS Maybe with a full program for the 2017 season, working closely with school and youth groups across the UK and Ireland, a decision was taken that we needed to expand….we needed another boat! So, we began to look for vessels for sale, something similar to Maybe, perfect for sail training and remaining in the under 24m SCV code. One day, an email came through from an agent, with an advert for Blue Clipper, a 43m topsail schooner, luxuriously decked out inside and completely not what we were looking for. Chuckling to myself I emailed the advert to my director with the subject heading “what about this one?” The reply “why you sending me adverts for expensive superyachts!!!”
A couple of weeks later the same agent sent another email, this time announcing that Blue Clipper was unsold and going to auction. Again, chuckling to myself I forwarded the advert to my director with the subject heading “are you sure?” On not hearing anything I forgot all about it and got myself ready to join Maybe for the Tall Ships Races.
Racing from Cadiz with very little wind on board Maybe, the satellite phone rang in the nav room. I could hear the director on the phone but was not prepared for the news he was about to break to me. He came up on deck and said “You know that big white superyacht thing?……I bid in the auction and I won.” My first thought….panic….what are we going to do with a 43m luxury vessel…..oh no this is all my fault!! Once reality sunk in…..I thought to myself….challenge accepted!!
All paperwork complete, Maybe Sailing now the new owners of Blue Clipper. So, you have just purchased a 43m schooner….what do you do with it? Well enter her into a 5 month Transatlantic Tall Ships Regatta. Well isn’t that what everyone does?
So early November we moved Blue Clipper from Greece to Malta where we spent a month getting her through her coding to get her commercially coded on the Maltese flag.
Moved Blue Clipper from Malta – Portugal for refit.
Worked 7 days a week 12 hours a day to get Blue Clipper ready for the RDV 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.
Delivery voayge to Royal Greenwich, the start port for the RDV.
Race 1. Finished 3rd in Class
Race 2. Finished 2nd in class crossing the Atlantic. Blue Clipper was in 1st position until the last day when the winds died and Jolie Brise ran away with the 1st prize, by 36 minutes!!
Race 3. Blue Clipper becalmed in the Triangle for several days. Swimming and fishing entertained the crew and trainees on board.
Race 4. 1st in class. A great race for Blue Clipper, averaging 9.5 knots throughout the race. She really does like a lot of wind!
Race 5. 1st in Class and 2nd overall. A fantastic tactical race, with all the crew working hard to maintain 1st position throughout the race. This race ended in Le Havre, with a fantastic effort from the trainee crew in the crew parade, winning the most engaging crew in the crew parade award!
Blue Clipper is now cruising down the coast of Spain and Portugal, before finishing in Portimao where she will have some much needed TLC over the winter.
There are big plans for Blue Clipper in 2018/19. With a spring and summer programme in the Arctic with plenty of choice from 10 day voyages to 3 week expeditions. Following this she will make her way over to the Caribbean in November and December ready to spend the winter months exploring the Caribbean Islands. If you want some winter sun, fancy a cruise without the crowds on a ship that can get to the small islands that the big cruise liners can’t access? Take a look at her winter programme for 2018/19.