Atlantic ocean

Cayuse : light air in the 2017 ARC+ Rally.

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In 10 knots of wind from astern, you can’t expect much from a lot of sailboats. It simply isn’t enough apparent wind to get a boat moving. Luckily, when sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, the tradewinds usually blow at 15 to 20 knots, allowing sailboats to fly across the pond at good speeds. During the ARC+ Rally this year, the winds were uncharacteristically light, so most yachts were moving extremely slowly and having to motor for long hours. However, we were on our lightweight catamaran, an Outremer 51, the wind was at 10 knots, and we were moving along at a solid 7 knots in extremely pleasant conditions. A year and a half earlier my parents finally took the plunge and bought a catamaran. Loyally monohull sailors for many years, the space, speed and comfort of catamarans were perfect for our dream of sailing around the world. When I was 10 and 12 years old, my parents homeschooled my brothers and me on a 52’ monohull while we cruised through the Caribbean. This boat served us well for many years, but my mom and dad knew it wasn’t the globe girdler they were looking for. They finally chose the Outremer 51. When we arrived in Las Palmas for the rally with hardly any boat work to be done or equipment to be fixed, we knew we had made the right choice. On both legs of the rally Cayuse was at the front of the pack, the winds light enough to make for slow going for most boats but just enough for us to speed along. With the Code D up and little wave action, we sailed along in 8 to 14 knots of wind and had a very smooth ride the whole way. During the last 350 miles before arriving in St. Lucia, the wind was steady at 16 knots and Cayuse just took off, averaging more 10 knots while flying the Code 0 and a full mainsail, helping us secure our spot as the sixth yacht to arrive in Saint Lucia and the second multihull to arrive after the Outremer 55 Light, Charm. With more than 70 boats in competition, we felt pretty good about our finish.

Who: Haley and her parents

Where: Atlantic ocean

Boat: Outremer 51


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