Captain Stokey Woodall, from SWAC, added me to a newsletter I don’t remember to have signed for. Anyway, I am sure I have his permission to make public some of it, as he has mine, to send me more of his stuff.
It is called Why SWAC ?
The organizers of SWAC are very much aware that there are other sailing rallies available to sailors, which at first glance might appear to be very similar.
To help answer this question it is important to understand that the company slogan’s is “We Know You Have a Choice” and it was not decided upon by chance. It actually represents what they feel and what they believe about SWAC’s elevated position in the market place and why they strive to stay there..
SWAC was designed, created and put together by two very experienced long distance offshore sailors, who have been there, done it and now own several ‘T’ shirts [that was funny].
[source - from the newsletter, the pic is magnificent, I wish I had more details on it]
SWAC entrants benefit from this combined knowledge bank of experience, by reaping the rewards of all this intelligence in the form of the professional organization of the rally.
With the aid of the expert weather routing skills of Stokey Woodall, who has a lifetime’s understanding of weather patterns, SWAC will sail south to meet the established trades in Cape Verde Islands, instead of waiting for the fickle seasonal trade winds to move north.
[It's interesting how Captain Woodall speaks of himself, modesty is at it's highest!]
This has several fantastic advantages:
- It ensures predominately good sailing conditions from Madeira to the Cabo Verde.
- Several extra days preparation once in the Cabo Verde before the transatlantic passage.
- Cabo Verde is a good location for last minute crew changes with cheap flights from the UK.
- The transatlantic passage is shortened by 600 miles from the traditional Canary Islands departure.
- SWAC has detailed local knowledge of the Cape Verde Islands and its communities.
- Allows yachts joining the rally from the Mediterranean an easier route to the point of departure for the transatlantic leg.
- The entire passage from Cape Verde to Barbados is trade wind sailing at it’s best.
- The fleet will arrive approximately one month ahead of all other transatlantic
rallies, thereby extending the Caribbean cruising season by one month and also allowing yachts who are looking to offer charter services to be first in-line with their yachts.
Other advantages of being part of SWAC are that the fleet numbers have been deliberately kept low to maximize the individual benefits to all the crews. This will provide the opportunity for the fleet members to interact and form friendships, share information, be on hand if help or advice is needed. By having a minimum size of 45′ for yachts, It will also ensure that the fleet will be sailing closer together and the majority of boats arriving at their destinations will be within a day, or so of each other.
The rally boats will enjoy the benefits of weather routing based on the professional expertise supplied by Simon Keeling and analyzed by Stokey Woodall as opposed to simply receiving weather information. The boats will receive this information based on their positions every 24 hours.
Because of the long term personal connections between the organizers of the rally and the communities of the countries and islands throughout the entire route, special emphasis is placed on the integration of the fleet into the local population and their lifestyles. These are things that are impossible to organize without the trust and friendship between the organizers, residents and inhabitants of the countries visited.
Extra special events are organized at every port along the route, that reflect the style and the culture of that particular local community. Social gatherings and receptions that cannot be bought, but are organized as a mark of respect to the inhabitants by the inhabitants for the entire fleet.
“We Know You Have a Choice” say the organizers who organize events between the residents and organizers. Good!
I have to mention, this is not advertising, and I don’t personally know Captain Woodall. It’s interesting that he recognize on his own that his tour is not that different from other “expert” circuits, but I have been impressed by these people’s ambition. Not great copy-writing skills, nor even writing, but they have to be at their best with what they claim. So, be prepared for the great trip, with a “deliberately low numbers kept fleet”! Excepting the content in the brackets, the article is almost entirely Captain Woodall’s. “Almost” means that I made it readable without modifying the essence of “originality”.
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