Press releases

2016

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Sunsail invests several million pounds into new yachts

16 September 2016

In conjunction with the launch of the new 2017 brochure, Sunsail is delighted to announce the arrival of 17 brand new 34 and 38 monohull yachts as well as 21 new 454 catamarans in almost all featured countries listed in the new brochure. The first deliveries will be in the next few weeks to the Caribbean followed by the Mediterranean in spring and eventually to all other Sunsail destinations. In addition to the brand new models, another 50 yachts will be added throughout the year.

Sunsail recently invested several million pounds into the development of new yachts and as part of this fleet investment, additions have been specifically chosen with sailing enthusiasts in mind, many of whom are Sunsail’s most loyal and longstanding charter customers.

All eyes on Mallorca

As announced earlier this year, Sunsail’s former franchise base in Palma has become an official Sunsail base this summer. With a greater choice of boats and a permanent Sunsail team in place, this means an enhanced service and an expanding fleet choice for sailors. Thanks to its geographical position and temperate climate, customers can take advantage of the sailing season running from April through to October.

Specialist flotillas

Last year, Sunsail launched successfully several FOOD AND WINE FLOTILLAS in Croatia and Italy combining wine tasting and sampling local delicacies whilst on a Sunsail flotilla. Due to their success, these weeks will be offered again next summer, with departures on 4 June from Dubrovnik and 10 June, 9 and 16 September from Agana (both Croatia) as well as 13 May, 8 July and 14 October 2017 from Procida  in Italy.

Also repeated will be the EXCLUSIVELY ADULTS FLOTILLA, but next year it operates from Agana departing 24 June 2017. The brand new Bahamas KITE SURFING FLOTILLA, led by a professional sailor and kite boarder, is available in November 2016.

Coming in 2017: the ‘British Virgin Islands RUM TASTING FLOTILLA’, dates and details to be announced in due course.

Learn to sail (whilst on holiday)

Sunsail’s exclusive FLOTILLA ZERO and FLOTILLA HERO courses are a great way to start a sailing education while on holidays. The flotilla zero course is designed for beginner sailors who want to take the RYA Start Yachting course, the perfect stepping stone to a full sailing qualification. The flotilla hero combines the full social and sailing holiday experience of a Sunsail flotilla incorporating the RYA Start Yachting Course Certificate, the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS) online course, ICC course and exam.

Brochure Offer

To celebrate the launch of our 2017 brochure, we are offering 10% off holidays departing up to 31 September 2017 on bookings made by 17 October 2016 (quote BRO17 at time of booking). Full terms and conditions, see website.

Prices

Price starts from £1,372* for a week bareboat charter in a two-cabin Sunsail 32i (sleeps up to six people) including outboard, end cleaning, fuel and YDW departing on 7 May 2017 from Lefkas. Flights and transfers can be booked individually. *includes early booking discount.

For more information or to download/ order a copy of the brochure see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0203 468 9205.

For images please click here https://we.tl/wo4WulrCCy

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Sunsail is preparing to add 88 new yachts

14 September 2016

Sunsail is introducing the brand new responsive Sunsail 34, rolling out the sleek, sporty Sunsail 38 and the elegant and practical Sunsail 454 to more of their destinations next year in addition to adding other yachts worldwide in all destinations.

From spring 2017, ten new Sunsail 34 two-cabin monohull and seven new Sunsail 38 three-cabin yachts will be available to charter in Croatia and Greece.

The Sunsail 34 sits at the apex of performance, comfort and safety. Her twin helms make for easy shorthand sailing and improved visibility. Ideal for couples and small groups. Emphasising comfort and functionality, the Sunsail 38 twelve-metre Jeanneau is both stable and spacious. A true cruiser’s dream, the 38 has a chined hull for improved upwind performance.

Also from next year, Sunsail is introducing 21 new mid-size four-cabin catamaran 454 into the fleet, replacing the flagship Sunsail 444.  Modern, spacious, and a completely re-thought design (overall and in the details), this yacht is going to be a step ahead of the other charter options available.

The 454 has the overall benefits of the Leopard catamaran range: forward cockpit, solid performance for large cruising cats with a stepped hull design, modern interior, and the new reversed interior layout making for a more convivial and social atmosphere.  Features found exclusive to this new model, which set it ahead, can been seen in the sleeker lines, oversized windows, providing a seamless indoor/outdoor experience, a large overhead skylight, refined lighting and trim, and overall larger interior volume.

First deliveries will be in the next few weeks to the British Virgin Islands and St Martin, followed by Croatia and Greece in spring 2017, and eventually to all other Sunsail destinations

Sunsail recently invested several million pounds into the development of new yachts in more than 20 destinations across the globe. As part of this fleet investment, additions to the fleet have been specifically chosen with sailing enthusiasts in mind, many of whom are Sunsail’s most loyal and longstanding charter customers. Sunsail has recently added 17 brand-new catamarans and 19 new monohull yachts to its award-winning charter fleet in the British Virgin Islands.

For more information including detailed specifications, charter prices, availability and more, visit www.sunsail.co.uk or call 020 3411 4760

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For images, please click here  https://we.tl/wo4WulrCCy

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Sunsail celebrates its 500,000th sailor

08 August 2016

Sunsail’s Portsmouth-based fleet has recently passed a major milestone in getting more people into sailing taking more than half a million people out on the water since Sunsail was founded in 1974.

To celebrate, Sunsail invited the 500,000th  sailor, Mr Richard Hurley from Deloitte, aboard one of the Sunsail’s Match First 40s during the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. He was presented a Crewsaver 30th anniversary limited edition lifejacket, a bottle of Chilgrove gin and Tinwood sparkling wine as well as a certificate on 10 August by the British Sailing team member and Sunsail ambassador Helena Lucas MBE along with Chairman of the British Marine Federation Sarah Dhanda.

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Sunsail introduces first-ever kiteboard flotilla

28 June 2016

Sailing and kiteboarding combined – could this be your new adventure?

Sunsail is introducing the first-ever kiteboard flotilla, running from 5-12 November 2016 in the pristine waters of the Abacos, one of the liveliest kiting areas in the Bahamas.

Ocean guide Brock Callen, professional sailor and BEST kiteboarding team member will lead this flotilla where the boat is the movable platform. He promised to find places where the conditions are ideal to catch the best wind. 

Callen has been sailing since he was five and developed a passion for kiteboarding twelve years ago. “I’ve been lucky to do both in some of the most epic venues. But the opportunity to live on the boat and use that as the platform for all the fun is definitely the best. This trip is designed with that concept in mind. To use the Sunsail boats to take us all over the Abacos so we can explore and kite and enjoy our natural surroundings. I want to roll over, have my coffee, and throw my kite in the water to ride before breakfast.” 

I want to look through the binoculars and see a deserted beach and take the boat there and then ride in crystal clear Bahamas water. That’s what we all want, right? ” says Callen.

Itinerary is planned, however, any change is based on weather conditions as this flotilla will go where the wind takes them, literally. 

For seven days in the Caribbean, kite boarders can expect to explore the Bahamian paradise. The starting point is at Sunsail’s base at Marsh Harbour where you meet follow flotilla members and lead crew for the chart briefing. The next day, the adventure kicks off with some flat water cruising on the northern tip of the island full of large sandy beaches and cays to explore.

Throughout the trip expect to be kiting in a variety of cays such as Guana, Green Turtle to ride the mangroves, No Name, Elbow to ride the Garbanzo’s surf break, Scotland and Treasure Cay, one of the ‘National Geographic’s Top 10 Beaches’ before heading back to Sunsail’s base.

Of course, dinner and drinks and Macke’s or the Abaco Inn can’t be missed nor lazy afternoons relaxing on the beach or snorkelling in calm blue sea!

There are three “waves” to get you on the water:  charter a bareboat (price from £5,594), a skippered boat (price from £6,647) or hire a cabin on a skippered (price from £2,274). Better be quick, only five Sunsail 444 premier catamarans are available (sleeping up to 10 people each).

Price includes a fully equipped cruising yacht, linen and towels, starter pack*, breakfast on the first morning, snorkelling equipment, dinghy and outboard, cooking gas, water, fuel, yacht cleaning, yacht damage waiver, 24 hour support of the Sunsail lead crew. Flights and transfers can be arranged separately. (*Starter pack only included on cabin bookings.)

For bookings and more information please visithttps://www.sunsail.co.uk/destinations/caribbean/bahamas/kiteboard-flotilla

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Note to editors

Kite boarders to provide their own equipment. This is not a ‘learn how to kiteboard’ product but a sailing holiday for kiteboard enthusiasts.

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Tinwood Partnership Adds Sparkle to Sunsail’s World

24 June 2016

Sunsail has today announced its partnership with Tinwood Estate, the renowned English vineyard, as official sparkling wine partner for 2016. The new partnership will see Tinwood’s Blanc de Blancs, Brut and Rose being served at many of Sunsail’s events in the UK, alongside tasting opportunities for clients and during special competitions over the coming months.

Growing the three classic champagne varieties on chalk soils at the foot of the South Downs, Tinwood is producing world class sparkling wines. They also offer daily vineyard tours, wine tasting in their stylish and elegant tasting room and accommodation in their luxurious and tranquil vineyard lodges which are raised to give their guests the ultimate view over the top of the vines towards the setting sun.

Simon Boulding, Events Director Sunsail comments, ‘We are delighted to be working with a distinguished brand that is part of a growing and successful English sparkling wine industry. We will be serving Tinwood sparkling wines at our regattas and awarding Tinwood to winning teams to help them toast their success.’

For over 40 years, Sunsail have been at the forefront of sailing holidays ever since the first flotilla set sail from Aegina in the Saronic Gulf in 1974. Nowadays, the Sunsail teams are often seen racing in the Solent and many destinations abroad.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about the Sunsail fleet and their events, please visit www.sunsail.co.uk.

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Definitely a cool thing for teens to do in the summer holidays - learn to sail with the world champion Sarah Ayton!

8 June 2016

Stuck for ideas what to do this summer with your teenagers? Thinking about a new activity for their Duke of Edinburgh Award? How about learn to sail with the double sailing world champion Sarah Ayton in the Solent. 

Sunsail’s Youth Sailing Academy weeks are as popular with parents as they are with the teenagers themselves.  Courses offer a mix of sailing instruction and other, non-sailing activities including canoeing, on-shore games and beach barbecues. And, over the course of the week, students can work towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award or gain their RYA Competent Crew qualification, if they wish.

Due to popular demand, Sunsail is expanding its Youth Sailing Academy this summer and has added an additional course for the week starting 15 August. But that’s not all. This course will be in partnership with Sarah Ayton OBE, the Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2015, a double sailing world champion and double sailing Olympic gold medallist. How cool's that? 

"It's my passion to recreate what I achieved through the next generation. With tenacity, determination and world class coaching I want to give the opportunities to develop talent” she said. “Whether it's a hobby or with aspirations to be a world champion I want to be a part of the journey to help teenagers be the best they can be" Sarah Ayton said. 

Sarah will meet the academy students and go out sailing with them for a day during their course – she will teach them sailing, coach them and no doubt inspire them to develop their sailing to the next level. 

Accommodation is on board for the duration of the course and is mixed, with boys and girls in separate cabins, and allocates boats by age range, where possible. Youth Sailing Academy weeks are all-inclusive of food and soft drinks and are suitable for teenagers aged between 13 and 17.  

All Sunsail’s instructors are RYA qualified, DBS enhanced and are well used to dealing with teenagers.

The cost of the course is £729 per student.

For further information and details, please visit https://www.sunsail.co.uk/sailing-schools/specialist/youth-sailing-academy  or contact Louise Williams, Sunsail UK School Principal on 02392 222221 or by email louise.williams@tuimarine.com

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Note to editors:

Sarah Ayton OBE is an English professional sailor. She won gold in the Yngling sailing class in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

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Three Peaks Yacht Race - one of the toughest long distance events in the world - Sunsail supports Sail4Cancer with Dee Caffari at the helm

26 May 2016

Sunsail are pleased to support both brand ambassador Dee Caffari MBE and charity partner Sail4Cancer as they get set to raise funds in the Three Peaks Yacht Race on 11 June 2016. Seven teams took part in the first race in 1977, and it took those entrants just over 5 days to sail 389 miles, climb 11,000 feet and walk or run 73 miles.

One of the oldest and most remarkable multi-sport races, this competition has become one of the toughest long distance events in the world, combining sailing, running and cycling. The route is from Barmouth to Fort William and en-route competitors have to reach the top of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis by foot.

Dee Caffari will skipper the Sail4Cancer yacht this year and said: “I am excited to be taking part in an event that has been on my to-do-list for a long time. I will skipper the Sail4Cancer boat, hoping to raise funds and awareness for this charity in one of the toughest multi-discipline events there is. The race involves sailing in some tricky areas then overcoming the three highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland. Tidal water, ever changing weather and tough terrain are challenges that my team and I will be looking forward to."

Round the world yachtswoman and record breaker Dee Caffari is building a strong team including expert meteorologist and navigator Libby Greenhalgh as well as experienced runners and cyclists Rob Barnes, Traharn Chidley and Matt Hinge.

Lizette Van Niekerk, Fundraising Manager for Sail 4 Cancer said: “ We are getting close to the Race now and the team is very excited. Dee has brought together a very strong team and we hope to do well. We decided to take on this huge challenge to raise funds for Sail 4 Cancer and to make more people aware of the important part respite has during the recovering process. Fighting cancer can be overwhelming and all-consuming and families need a break from the constant stress. We give them the chance to spend quality time together, work on strained relationships and just relax and create memories for a sometimes uncertain future”. 

Sail 4 Cancer was set up in 2001 by a group of keen sailors who had all lost a close friend or relative to cancer. The charity provides respite breaks and holidays for families affected by cancer and helps more than 500 people each year to get way from the stress of living with the disease for long periods. Sail 4 Cancer also gives breaks to young carers who look after a family member with cancer to thank them for the important role they play in their families. The charity provides sailing weekends for youngsters recovering from cancer to give them the opportunity to do new and physically challenging activities after months in and out of hospital.

Please support Dee and the Sail 4 Cancer Team by donating here: http://www.sail4cancer.org/dee-three-peaks-yacht-race-2016

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Sunsail Announces Sponsorship of Helena Lucas MBE

19 May 2016

Sunsail is delighted to announce the sponsorship of the leading member of the British sailing team Helena Lucas MBE providing her with valuable support for this summer's competitions.

Named as the first member of the Great Britain team for Rio in April last year, Helena Lucas made  history claiming 2.4mR Paralympic gold at London 2012, becoming the first ever female winner of the male dominated Paralympic class and Britain’s first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist.

Having sailed 470s since 1997 she moved into the Paralympic 2.4mR in 2003 before making her Paralympic Games debut at Beijing 2008, finishing seventh.

Outside of her competitions this summer she is looking forward sailing in other classes and expanding her sailing experiences and career.

Helena Lucas commented: “I am delighted to have Sunsail's support for the last few months of preparation for this summer's competitions and really looking forward to some fantastic Sunsail sailing holidays afterwards”.

General manager Sunsail Scott Farquharson commented: “We met Helena at a Little Britain Challenge Cup charity cheque presentation and were bowled over by her passion for sailing. Sunsail is delighted to be able to support Helena with this sponsorship.” 

www.sunsail.co.uk

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Dee Caffari MBE becomes Sunsail Ambassador

5 May 2016

Sunsail is delighted to announce that British yachtswoman Dee Caffari has joined our team as a brand ambassador for Sunsail, the world's largest sailing company.

Dee Caffari is the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times. More recently she was part of the all-female crew in the Volvo Ocean Race 14-15.

She fell for sailing as part of a whole career change from teaching in her mid-twenties, training with UKSA, completing her Ocean Yachtmaster course and going onto work for British Sailor Mike Golding OBE.

A true world beater and inspirational record breaker it is the joint mission of Sunsail and Caffari to grow participation in sailing, with a strong emphasis on encouraging female sailors to challenge and open up the sport further for both genders.

Dee Caffari will be attending several events during the year with Sunsail, including Ladies Day at Cowes Week as well as the Southampton Boat Show with many more in the pipeline.

She is also a patron for the charity Sail 4 Cancer; a charity Sunsail is actively involved in with the aim of raising funds and awareness for the great work that they do.

Dee Caffari says “I am passionate about the sport of sailing and if I can help others get involved and experience what the sport can offer it makes me happy. Working alongside Sunsail UK is a great opportunity as together we can offer everyone access to the sport at a variety of levels, from racing to cruising on amazing holidays in stunning locations.

Scott Farquharson, Sunsail’s general manager commented, Dee Caffari is an exceptional athlete. Her sheer endurance, sense of adventure and passion for this exhilarating sport is second to none. These qualities along with her charisma and love for travel make her the perfect choice for us. We look forward to working with this highly respected ambassador to promote sailing at its best”.

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AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES PORTSMOUTH

Sunsail becomes official charter partner

13 April 2016

Sunsail has been named as an official charter partner for the upcoming round of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth from 22-24 July 2016. This breath-taking event with the best sailors and the fastest boats will take place just off Portsmouth’s Southsea Common, close to Sunsail’s UK base in Port Solent. This game of strategy and tactics, where ‘there is no second’, is an action not to be missed.

Leslie Greenhalgh, Events Director, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, says “We are really pleased to be working with Sunsail for the second year running. They are a major brand in the UK and global sailing business presenting a fantastic opportunity for people to get out on the Solent as well as watching our event. It’s a perfect way to bring a group of clients, employees or friends out on the water for a thrilling experience and we look forward to welcoming existing and new guests through Sunsail to our event.”

Come sea or land, we will be there. Visit the Sunsail stand in the race village near the ‘Techzone’ and enter the competition for a chance to win a host of prizes.

Sunsail are offering full hospitality packages on both sail and powerboats from just £2,495 + VAT per boat. The packages include all professional crew and catering required for a fantastic day on the water to watch the action. 

Sunsail General Manager Scott Farquharson: “It’s great to be on-board, supporting the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth for what is deemed to be the most exciting event in the UK this summer. What’s not to love about watching the fastest boats compete on water from a prime position, supporting the British Team in their home waters for the final time before heading overseas?”

Last chance to come and support the British team competing in their home waters, so don't miss out and email events@sunsail.com for more information.

https://www.sunsail.co.uk/events/americas-cup

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Note to editors - event itinerary

Friday: Exclusively for the opening day, the six America’s Cup teams will compete in match racing duels alongside the usual fleet races. During the day, the Red Arrows in their distinctive nine red Hawk jets will show off their legendary high speed air display.

Saturday:  The fleet racing programme gets underway. If that’s not enough there will be aerial displays by the Bladesdisplay team with a routine that includes over 30 manoeuvres.

Super Sunday: The final day of action sees double points up for grabs in the racing as the winner takes it all, with more spectacular aerial displays by The Red Bull Matadors who will be flying at speeds of up to 250mph to round off the feast of speed

 

History of the America’s Cupwww.americascup.com

In 1851 a radical looking schooner ghosted out of the afternoon mist and swiftly sailed past the Royal Yacht stationed in the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the south coast of England, on an afternoon when Queen Victoria was watching a sailing race.

As the schooner, named America, passed the Royal Yacht in first position, and saluted by dipping its ensign three times, Queen Victoria asked one of her attendants to tell her who was in second place. ”Your Majesty, there is no second,” came the reply. That phrase, just four words, is still the best description of the America’s Cup, and how it represents the singular pursuit of excellence.

That day in August, 1851, the yacht America, representing the young New York Yacht Club, would go on to beat the best the British could offer and win the Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Pound Cup. This was more than a simple boat race however, as it symbolised a great victory for the new world over the old, a triumph that unseated Great Britain as the world’s undisputed maritime power. 

The trophy would go to the young democracy of the United States and it would be well over 100 years before it was taken away from New York. 

Shortly after America won the 100 Guinea Cup in 1851, New York Yacht Club Commodore John Cox Stevens and the rest of his ownership syndicate sold the celebrated schooner and returned home to New York as heroes. They donated the trophy to the New York Yacht Club under a Deed of Gift, which stated that the trophy was to be “a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations.”

Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the winning schooner America, as opposed to the country.

The America’s Cup is without a doubt the most difficult trophy in sport to win. In the more than 150 years since that first race off England, only four nations have won what is often called the “oldest trophy in international sport.” For some perspective, consider that there had been nine contests for the America’s Cup before the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896.

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Sunsail is set on Palma de Mallorca

31 March 2016

Sunsail is proud to announce that the company will be investing in its Mallorca base this summer. With a greater array of boats and a permanent Sunsail team in place, this means an enhanced and evolving fleet choice and service for our customers.

Joining the current fleet of Sunsail 41, 47, and 444 yachts will be four 36i’s and an additional 41 in the next couple of months, ready for the peak sailing season.

Sunsail general manager Scott Farquharson: “Mallorca is one of my favourite Spanish islands to be discovered by boat and there are direct flights from most UK airports making it an ideal sailing destination not just for families. We are proud to expand again to offer our customers an even wider choice of destinations, as well as best quality and value on their sailing holiday.”

Sailing the aquamarine coastline of Mallorca gives access to hundreds of beaches, coves and sheltered bays, only accessible by sea. There’s plenty to do once you’ve anchored up too, with ancient towns and villages, vineyards and orange groves to be explored.

As a level 3 sailing ground, the Balearic Sea makes rewarding sailing for more experienced sailors due to its strong winds, and thanks to its geographical position and temperate climate, the sailing season runs  from April to October.

Unique to this area, just 10km off the south-east coast of Mallorca, is the Cabrera Archipelago National Park which shelters the most spectacular underwater meadows. As one of the best scuba diving areas in the Mediterranean, look out for groupers, octopi, loggerhead turtles and even dolphins. The islands of Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera are also within an easy sailing distance.

Sailing requirements & qualifications:

  • Sailing experience level 3. Only suitable for confident sailors who have experience with long spells of open water sailing, broad tidal ranges, strong winds and remote anchorages.
  • To sail in this destination you'll need at least an ICC or an RYA Day Skipper qualification or above.

Prices from £2,552 for a bareboat charter based on a Sunsail 41 – three cabins mono or similar - for one week (includes outboard, end cleaning, fuel and YDW) departing in October 2016. Flights and transfers can be booked individually at a supplement.

For more details please call 020 3797 4622 or visit www.sunsail.co.uk 

Marina location:

Marina Naviera Balear, Paseo Maritimo n°4, 07014 Palma de Mallorca.

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Gill Becomes Official Clothing Sponsor to Sunsail

24 March 2016

Sunsail is delighted to announce a new partnership with the specialist marine clothing brand Gill as the official clothing partner for the UK operation of Sunsail Holidays, Events and Schools. Both brands share similar core values of quality and expertise, with Sunsail providing the best possible sailing experience using Gill clothing that delivers in the varied conditions sailing provides.

Gill will be the exclusive provider of technical sailing clothing to Sunsail’s employees, skippers and customers.

As part of the partnership, Sunsail’s acclaimed Sunsail Racing Series will now be known as the Gill Sunsail Racing Series, with Gill sponsoring all eight rounds throughout the year in the Solent and contributing prizes for the winners of the final, held in November 2016.

Bryan Stewart, Sales & Marketing Director at Gill: “We are very proud to be working with Sunsail and support their sailing programs with Gill Technical Gear.  We have worked with them in the past, and we have always had an excellent relationship.  We know, our gear will keep the sailors warm, dry and comfortable in all conditions”.

Simon Boulding, Events Director Sunsail: “Whether our clients are racing in the Solent in the Gill Sunsail Racing Series, cruising in the Mediterranean or on a Whale Shark flotilla in the Caribbean, we are delighted to be able to deliver and recommend Gill Technical Gear to meet the demands of sailing in all conditions around the globe.” 

For more information visit www.sunsail.co.uk  and www.gillmarine.com

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About Gill Marine

Gill is a rare thing these days, a company that does one thing, we make ultra-technical sailing clothing. Our gear keeps you comfortable in all conditions.

We design everything by listening to sailors and their needs, and we test everything both in our lab and on the water to make sure our sailing kit delivers.

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The Virgin Atlantic Sailing Challenge with Sunsail

16 March 2016

Virgin Atlantic’s Change is in the Air sustainability strategy gives their employees and customers the opportunity to change things for the better, both for the environment and community investment programme. This concept is at the core of their business and every year, colleagues from across the company take part in a self-funded challenge across the globe designed to push them to their limits, all to raise much needed funds for worthwhile causes.

For 2016, the Virgin Atlantic team has decided to organise a sailing event and Sunsail are delighted to provide the yacht fleet that the eager teams will be racing in, as well as full event support and co-ordination.

From 5th-12th November 2016, more than 90 Virgin Atlantic employees will be taking part in the Virgin Atlantic Sailing Challenge in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, a location very much associated with the company and its history. Designed to be challenging and fun, the principal aim of this event is to raise money and awareness for a selection of charities and projects, including Virgin Atlantic’s partner charity Free the Children.

Starting from Sunsail’s base in Road Town on Tortola, the teams will be racing from island to island with additional challenges along the way having Necker Island as the back drop.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group A great idea and I am looking forward to welcoming our Virgin Sailors to the BVI. I hope to join in too.”

Captain Chris Hall, a pilot with Virgin since the very beginning and the driver behind all of the challenges undertaken through the years, said of this new event “Our unique brand of staff-led activism is all about challenging our people whilst having fun and doing good. More than 1500 of us have cycled, climbed, run and trekked all around the world and now we can’t resist the idea of bringing some serious Virgin energy to experience sailing in the BVI. It’s a place that's very much Virgin Territory, with the hundreds of thousands of people we fly to the Caribbean and of course the charismatic presence of Richard. We can’t wait to open up the sails and we hope to raise thousands of pounds for our charity partner Free The Children”.

Rajan Mistry at Virgin Atlantic, who coined the sailing challenge idea and has participated in many other Virgin challenges, added “Virgin people, reaching out to all parts of the world, air, land and now sea”.

With some of the participants having never stepped on a boat before, the Caribbean Sailing Challenge is set to test sea legs to the limits and raise a significant amount of money for worthy causes.

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Can’t stop being competitive even during the holiday?

NEW: Sunsail's Exclusive One-Design Flotilla

26 February 2016

New for this summer, Sunsail is offering a one-off flotilla week comprised exclusively of Sunsail 36i’s providing less scope for an unfair speed advantage during the optional day races . This one-design flotilla comprising Sunsail 36i monohull yachts from Jeanneau starts from Dubrovnik in Croatia on 8th May2016 for one week. The 36i is perfect for discovering the Croatian sailing area and it can, due to its size, easily navigate the small town quays and makes anchoring up in spectacular bays along the Dalmatian coast effortless.

On the first day, after boarding the yacht, enjoy Dubrovnik Old Town, one of the best-preserved medieval walled cities in the world and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the day making yourself at home amidst the Renaissance palaces and ancient citadels, exploring the labyrinth of marble paved  streets to find hidden cafés and shops.

Set sail and island hop your way along the Dalmatian Coast to the emerald isle of Mljet with a stopover at Suđurađ, Šipan. Drop anchor in the picturesque bay of Mljet National Park for easy access to the park’s dense woodland and two saltwater lakes.

On day three, it’s a straight shot of blue water sailing from Polače to Lumbarda on the Eastern Cape of Korčula. This charming fisherman’s village is situated in the famous Grk wine vineyards. Enjoy your afternoon relaxing on the many sandy beaches or head to the vineyards for wine tasting.

After a free sailing day, reunite with the Mljet flotilla fleet at the relaxed seaside village of Okuklje, located on the northern shores of Mljet. From there, sail past the beautiful Elaphiti Islands on your way back to the base in Dubrovnik.

In a flotilla, up to twelve yachts are travelling together. And, of course, sailors have the 24/7 assistance of a lead crew with skipper, engineer and host to organise all the on-land excursions.

Price for this one-design Mljet flotilla is from £1500 for a Sunsail 36i three cabin monohull yacht (sleeps up eight people). This includes a fully equipped cruising yacht for the duration of your holiday including all sailing, navigation and safety equipment, linen including bath and tea towels, snorkelling equipment, full cylinder of cooking gas and full tank of water, one tank of yacht fuel, yacht cleaning, yacht Damage Waiver, 24 hour support of the Sunsail lead crew. Flights from Gatwick to Dubrovnik with Easyjet cost from £175 per person and transfers from £30 per person, both of which can be arranged separately.

For more details please visit Mljet One Design flotilla itinerary or call 020 3773 7836.

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2015

First ever Whale Shark Flotilla in Belize with Mauri Pro and The GlobalFinPrint

November 2015

Experience the annual whale shark migration while diving and snorkelling the untouched reefs of Belize.

Mauri Pro and Sunsail are delighted to announce the first ever whale shark migration and dive flotilla taking place from 21-28 May 2016 in the beautiful waters of Belize.

Having the ability to see the largest fish in the ocean in one of the most scenic of their natural habitats and, as commented on by Gobal FinPrint’s lead scientist Dr Demian Chapman, is an experience many cruisers and ocean lover’s dream of. This week long charter is set to fall during the full moon as the cycle of the moon dictates the ideal window for observing these majestic giants. The Sunsail base out of Placencia is a perfect place to begin this journey.

Due to the nature of the expedition, a dive master will join the crew who will lead, when the whale sharks aren’t in the area, dives and snorkelling tours in the pristine reefs around the many cays of Belize.

The internationally recognized shark expert and scientist Dr Demian Chapman who will be on-board the Sunsail yacht said, “The migration of whale sharks to Gladden Spit, Belize, around the spring full moons coincides with a great feeding opportunity as they consume the spawn released by thousands of reef fish. We are also interested in the possibility that this event attracts other, more predatory sharks which eat the spawning fish and look forward to investigating this as part of the Global FinPrint Project while educating the guests of the Sunsail flotilla along the way.”

One of the flotilla’s stops will be the Whale Sharks’ Gladden Marine Reserve which is partially home to the longest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere as well as the Silk Cayes and three offshore atolls, ready for exploring.

“There is no better way to appreciate and protect the environment than by facilitating this unique and exiting flotilla for our customers whilst helping progress the research of the Global FinPrint” says Scott Farquharson, general manager Sunsail.

Price for the 21-28 May Sunsail flotilla costs from £3705 for a 4-cabin Sunsail 44 (sleeps up to 10 people). This includes a fully equipped cruising yacht for the duration of your holiday including all sailing, navigation and safety equipment, linen including bath and tea towels, starter pack, breakfast on the first morning, snorkelling equipment, dinghy and outboard, full cylinder of cooking gas and full tank of water, one tank of yacht fuel, yacht cleaning, yacht Damage Waiver, 24 hour support of the Sunsail lead crew. Flights and transfers can be arranged separately.

For more details please visit Belize Whale Shark flotilla itinerary or call 020 3355 9787 to book.

About Mauri Pro

Since 1993, Mauri Pro has evolved from one guy selling sails to afford to go to regattas to an international business and online store catered to sailors and wind and water enthusiasts across the globe. Their latest enterprise is the launch of the Mauri Pro Scuba Diving Shop as an extension of their already successful Mauri Pro Sailing Store. The Mauri Pro crew includes not only seasoned and world-class sailors, but also kiteboarders, power yacht aficionados and certified divers of all level of skills. Their level of expertise and unmatched commitment to a great customer experience makes them the perfect company to assist you with all your wind and water sports needs. www.mauripro.com

About The Global FinPrint

Global FinPrint is a Paul G. Allen initiative that brings together an international research team and collaborators around the world to fill a critical information gap about the diminishing numbers of shark and rays.  The project launched in summer 2015, with a multi-institutional team conducting surveys of sharks, rays and other types of marine life on coral reefs using baited remote underwater video (BRUV) throughout global biodiversity hotspots.

The initiative aims to quantify the major human pressures and environmental factors influencing shark and ray populations and to investigate these animals’ potentially critical role in coral reef ecosystems from ecological and economic standpoints, to ultimately inform and drive regional and global shark conservation. Recent estimates suggest that around 100 million sharks are taken from the oceans every year for their fins and/or meat. 

For many species, catch rates have been so high that populations have declined severely. Habitat loss, particularly in continental and insular shelves of tropical and subtropical regions, has also impacted elasmobranch species the world over. Because of a lack of consistent surveys, it is difficult to determine what pristine densities and diversities “should” be to set restoration targets.

www.globalfinprint.org

Expedition Hashtag: #BelizeWhaleSharkFlotilla

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Nipper Skipper new partner of Sunsail

October 2015

Worldwide yacht charter company Sunsail has partnered with Nipper Skipper, a quality clothing company who produces functional and fashionable clothing alongside technical safety gear in a one-stop shop for children 0-10 years.

Nipper Skipper stocks a range of performance products that are funky yet reliably practical look great whilst remaining relevant. They supply life jackets, buoyancy aids, harnesses and safety lines, ensuring that children can enjoy boating whilst remaining safe, which in turn makes for a more relaxing time for parents and carers.

“We want to make sure that time spent on the water is fun, safe and comfortable,” said Fran Farrar, Director Nipper Skipper. “Our clothing combines high quality, bright designs with practical durability and it’s all about getting little ones out and about, whatever the weather. We are very excited about growing our business in partnership with Sunsail.”

Scott Farquharson of Sunsail added, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Nipper Skipper. As passionate sailors, we fully support getting the younger generation in to sailing. To have the right clothing and accessories is key to their comfort thus making their experience on the water a memorable one they want to do time and time again as a family, either in the UK or one of our 25 destinations worldwide.”

Nipper Skipper offers a 10% discount off all products for families booking a sailing holiday or day trips with Sunsail.

For yacht charter holidays through Sunsail visit www.sunsail.co.uk or call 020 3411 4760

Nipper Skipper

Nipper Skipper are a family run, on-line company that offers quality clothing and reliable safety gear for little sailors and outdoor adventurers aged 0-10 years. They aim to supply the necessary safety gear, waterproofs, clothing and accessories to ensure that time spent on the water is fun, safe and comfortable for young children.

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Sea Cadets Regatta 2016 - registration is now open

October 2015

Join the Sea Cadets in their 19th regatta on Friday, 6 May 2016 in Portsmouth to raise vital funds for the charity. It’s perfect for a team of professional and amateur sailors, corporate days, and team building activities for businesses.

Organised by Sunsail Events, the Sea Cadets Regatta 2016 promises to be a fantastic race experience. Guests do not need to have any sailing knowledge to join the regatta, and each yacht can cater for seven to 10 people. 

The entry fee includes a skipper and a first mate, free accommodation on the yacht the night before, breakfast, lunch on-board Sunsail’s  popular Match First 40’s and refreshments, deluxe afternoon tea, wet weather gear and prizes and trophies for the winners, all for £3,000 per yacht. Upgrade your experience to include a luxurious Pimms reception and BBQ the night before the race for £49 per person.

All the money raised from the Sea Cadet Regatta will go towards supporting young people to get out on the water, learning how to sail, kayak, canoe and row. As a national youth charity working with 14,000 young people in 400 communities, 45% of which are in economically challenged areas, Sea Cadets understand the importance for young people to find confidence and inspiration, helping them to develop self-belief and valuable life skills. We believe what we offer young people, nautical adventure and challenge in a positive environment makes a positive difference to their life chances.

Michael Hlavaty, Sunsail Events account manager: “As a former Sea Cadet myself, it’s a great pleasure to be appointed as the event charter partner for this regatta, which sees funds raised for a fantastic cause. Not only will the guests be able to enjoy exhilarating racing onboard our Match First 40’s fleet, but see the regatta take a new one day format.”

To book your yacht on the Sea Cadets Regatta, please contact Michael.Hlavaty@sunsail.com  or call 02392 222 221.

Sea Cadets offers young people between 10 and 18 an environment where they can find confidence and inspiration through nautical adventure. Across the UK 14,000 young people are challenging themselves and learning new skills based on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy to give them the best possible head start in life. Visit: www.sea-cadets.org

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Just for adults flotillas - new speciality flotilla for summer 2016

October 2015

Sunsail launches today a new and exciting choice of flotilla sailing holidays for adults only.  In recent years, Sunsail has seen a growth in demand for adult only holidays which attract couples and groups of friends as well as parents who are taking a holiday without their children.

In June and July 2016, Sunsail offers two adult only flotilla routes in Greece, unique and only available with Sunsail, for customers who want the benefits of a flotilla holiday in the Mediterranean in a child-free environment.

26 June 2016 - Kefalonia seven nights’ itinerary:

Sunsail’s base in Lefkas on the Greek Ionian, is the starting point for a one week Kefalonia flotilla. It includes a stop at Fiscardo, a picturesque, busy little town with a great variety of restaurants, bars and a museum; the town of Spartahori on Meganissi, perched high above Spilia Bay with unbeatable view across mainland Greece. The Flotilla also stops off at Lake Melissani where sailors can watch for Loggerhead Turtles and enjoy the traditional tavernas on this stunning Island. On your route you’ll stop in Sivota, place where Odysseus landed and Evgiros with Cave of the Nymphs is nearby.

3 July 2016 - Kalamos seven nights’ itinerary:

This flotilla is perfect for inexperienced flotilla sailors and skippers who want to brush up on their skills exploring the islands of Meganissi and Kalamos. Mountainous, pine-forested Kalamos has an air of serenity about it. It’s a quiet, unspoilt island with few inhabitants and only the monastery of Episkopi to explore. Port Athene lies on the north-eastern coast of Meganissi and is a fine place to moor for the night while exploring the coastline of this dreamy island.

Price from £1,555 for a one-week flotilla charter (sleeps up to four people; price per person from £389) for a two-cabin 32s monohull (includes flotilla fee, outboard, end cleaning, fuel and YDW) departing on 26 June from Kefalonia or 3 July 2016 from Kalamos in Greece. Flights and transfers can be booked individually.

For more information please visit http://www.sunsail.co.uk/flotilla-sailing/adult-flotilla or call  020 3411 4760

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Summer 2016 brochure launched and 32 new catamarans on their way to destinations

September 2015

Sunsail is delighted to announce the arrival of 32 (yes, thirty-two) brand new 404 in almost all featured countries listed in the new 2016 brochure, launched on 11 September. The first 404 catamarans have already been delivered to the British Virgin Islands; Belize will get delivery in November followed by Thailand and St Martin in December. In spring, the 404 will arrive in the Seychelles followed by Greece and Croatia ready for sailing during the summer 2016.

The new 404 is offered in a four cabin layout with two heads ideal for charter parties up to 10. The fully appointed galley is located forward and adjacent to a spacious settee located aft. Oversized sliding glass doors open to the aft cockpit, providing panoramic views from the interior and the best of indoor and outdoor living. The forward door opens to an area with a trampoline perfect for sunbathing and relaxing.

When it comes to navigating, the Sunsail 404 features a raised helm station with a full range of Raymarine electronics, supplementary power from dual 29 horsepower engines providing superior agility and speed on the water.

Prices start from £2,835 for a week’s bareboat charter in Phuket, Thailand, departure 20 August 2016.

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Combine your sailing holiday with an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) training course

September 2015

Launched in May 2015, Sunsail introduced a smart way to combine the full social and sailing holiday experience of a Sunsail flotilla with the RYA Start Yachting Course Certificate, the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS) online course, ICC course and exam. This avoids having to do a course separately to gain certification before the yacht charter holiday.

How does it work?

A novice sailor books a flotilla holiday in Croatia or Greece (choice of several flotilla routes) and Sunsail provides a qualified ICC instructor/examiner for the entire week. All the necessary training will be achieved during the week and at the end, up to three customers can pass the exam to achieve the ICC which is required to hire and sail a yacht without having to hire a professional skipper.

Prices from £3,510 for a Sunsail 47 Premier sleeping up to ten (from £585pp) for one week sailing holiday on the Hvar flotilla in Croatia including flotilla and skipper fees departing on 7 May 2016 (yacht damage waiver and flights not included). Curriculum includes the RYA Start Yachting Course, RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS) online course (to be completed prior to departing the UK) and the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) course and examination.

All party members will be able to complete the Start Yachting certification; however, a maximum of three sailors will be able to sit the ICC course and examination at the end of the week.

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Croatia Wine and Culinary Sunsail Flotilla

September 2015

In June this year, Sunsail launched a new "wine and culinary flotilla" in Croatia combining wine tastings and sampling local delicacies in typical ‘konobas’ with a Sunsail flotilla. Due to its success, these culinary sailing weeks will take part again next summer, departures are available on 4 and 11 June as well as 17 and 24 September 2016.

Starting at the Sunsail base in Agana near Split, this tour will take sailors to the most beautiful corners of the Dalmatian islands. After each day of sailing, participants have the opportunity to visit local wineries such as Zlatan Plenković, now famous worldwide for their wine.

On a flotilla, up to twelve yachts travel together. And, as standard, sailors have the 24/7 assistance of a lead crew with skipper, engineer and host to organise all the on-land excursions.

Price for a week’s flotilla costs from £1,971 for a Sunsail 36i – 3 cabin monohull yacht (sleeps up eight people) departing on 17 September 2016. This includes a fully equipped cruising yacht for the duration of your holiday including all sailing, navigation and safety equipment, linen including bath and tea towels, starter pack, breakfast on the first morning, snorkelling equipment, dinghy and outboard, full cylinder of cooking gas and full tank of water, one tank of yacht fuel, yacht cleaning, 24 hour support of the Sunsail lead crew. Flights and transfers can be arranged separately.

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Our fleet and flotillas

September 2015

Sunsail’s yacht fleet is the youngest in the Mediterranean. The Premier Plus range features boats less than twelve months old, while all boats are younger than seven years and, obviously, the 404’s are brand new. Over the past forty years, Sunsail has led the way in flotilla sailing around the world and for next summer 15 flotilla routes are available.

As with all Sunsail bases worldwide, experienced and knowledgeable staff are also on hand at all bases, ready to point visitors in the direction of local highlights and to share their boating expertise. Flotilla crews and instructors are all Royal Yachting Association qualified and passionate about sailing, customers can rest assured they are in good hands.

Prices

Price starts from £725 for a week bareboat charter in a two-cabin 32i classic monohull (sleeps up to six people; from £121pp) including outboard, end cleaning, fuel and YDW departing on 24 April 2016 from Dubrovnik. Flights and transfers can be booked individually.

Brochure Offer

It pays to book ahead, so we’re offering 10% off holidays departing up to 30 October 2016 on bookings before 30 November 2015 (quote BRO16 at time of booking). T&Cs see website.

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0203 468 9205.

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Refugees in the Med - what to do in an emergency

September 2015

The Mediterranean is for many customers the most popular charter sailing area in the summer.

As a charter company whose customers are travelling along the Lycian Coast and in the Aegean Sea, Sunsail briefs all charterers in these areas of how to react if they come in contact with refugees who are in distress. Important information is available on the website of the United Nations and we adhere to these guidelines.

If you encounter a ship in distress or people in the water, according to international law you must help if life is in danger. Contact the coast guards or alert the Sunsail base. Stay with the ship and/or people in distress until help arrives. Document the situation with pictures, video. Don’t rescue of your own life is in danger. 

If refugees are in immediate danger, inform the coast guard that you are about to take them on board, to avoid any suspicion that you are a trafficker.

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Sunsail's Port Solent office achieves ISO for third consecutive year 

September 2015

Sunsail’s Port Solent Base has been certified by the British Standards Institute (BSI) for successfully implementing ISO 20121 for Sustainable Event Management for the third consecutive year. 

With this achievement, Sunsail is part of an exclusive club of venues and events certified to the international standard for sustainable event management, including Ben Ainslie Racing, Barcelona World Race and Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (Olympic Sailing 2012 venue).

ISO 20121 is an internationally recognised management standard that helps organisations to maximise the economic, social and environmental opportunities of running events whilst reducing any negative impacts through improved planning and processes. As a leading provider of RYA courses and owner of the largest charter fleet in the UK, Sunsail integrates sustainability into its training, events and regattas, but was keen to achieve this formal recognition by way of a British Standards kite mark again.

Simon Boulding, Sunsail’s Events Director, commented “Our renewed ISO 20121 status demonstrates Sunsail’s long term commitment to sustainability to both our current customers as well as prospective corporate clients with similar sustainability aspirations to ours, and hope that this will be a key factor for them when choosing us to run their corporate sailing events.”

To achieve ISO 20121, Sunsail continues to implement a management system which encompasses the assessment of environmental, social and economic effects of all its activities; and provide evidence of how best practice is embedded into its operating practices, for example:

  • only sustainable products are being used (low-phosphate and biodegradable cleaning products); 
  • introducing the use of tablets for operational use, rather than using paper forms.

In addition, Sunsail is continuing to commit to maintain charitable donations to the charity Sail4Cancer and employees donated last week over £4000 from a sailing event they participated.

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0203 468 9205

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15 new monohulls to arrive in the British Virgin Islands in December

September 2015

Steadfast in upholding the superior quality its clients have grown to expect, the company recently invested several million pounds into the development of new yachts in more than 20 destinations across the globe. As part of this fleet investment, these new monohulls were specifically chosen to cater to classic sailing enthusiasts, many of whom are Sunsail most loyal and longstanding charter clients.

Set to debut in the British Virgin Islands this December, these yachts include three all-new Sunsail 38,  ten Sunsail 47 as well as two  Sunsail 51.

These new additions follow the debut of the company's newest sail and power catamarans, the Sunsail 404-4. Crafted by renowned catamaran producers Robertson & Caine, each model features a communal four-cabin layout designed specifically for families and groups of up to ten guests.

For more information including detailed specifications, charter prices, availability and more, visit www.sunsail.co.uk or call 020 3411 4760

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Three cheers for our Sail4Cancer race participants -

and good luck!

August 2015

Several months ago, 14 Sunsail colleagues took up the challenge to participate in the Dover to London sailing race and today, their journey begins when they depart at 4pm from DST House to be chauffeured to Dover Marina where the two yachts with skippers and first mates will be waiting for them.

The teams will pit their wits throughout the night to be the first boat back to London and expected arrival time should be around 10:00 – 11:00 on Friday, depending on weather and tides, of course. If you want to track their progress throughout the night, you can do it on the following link. The boats are Sunsail 4018 and Sunsail 4020.

Sail4Cancer are very grateful that so many of us are taking on this challenge to raise funds for them. The fundraising is now nearly at £4,000 which means Sail4Cancer will be able to organise a holiday for four families who desperately need a break from cancer.

Sail 4 Cancer was set up in 2001 by a group of keen sailors who had all lost a close friend or relative to cancer. This charity is primarily a provider of water based respite days and holidays for families affected by cancer and also makes grants to cancer care centres and supports research into the positive effects of exercise (e.g. sailing) and how it can help prevent cancer and aid recovery post diagnosis.

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Pirates of the British Virgin Islands Treasure Hunt tour

July 2015

Seekers for treasure hunt required. Children preferred. Adults also welcome.

Looking for a unique activity that will bring out your inner buccaneer? Then take the “Pirates of the British Virgin Islands Treasure Hunt’ Tour – a sailing based voyage with Sunsail that takes in the landmarks of the British Virgin Islands on board your Sunsail yacht or catamaran.

Launching this October in partnership with the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Tourist Board, would-be Indiana Jones-types, adventurous Nellie Bly hopefuls and Amazing Race wannabe’s will receive a pirate eye patch on their charter along with a map containing a list of six BVI Pirate Treasure Troves:

Peg Legs, Tortola

Aragorns Studio, Trellis Bay, Beef Island

Pirates Bite, Norman Island

The Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda

The Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke

Deadman’s Beach Bar and Grille, Peter Island

On arriving on the Pirate Treasure Troves spots, children (and other pirates) will have to approach the counter wearing their patch/bandana and ask for their treasure (sword not obligatory), and they will be given a gold coin. Each participant can collect up to six gold coins to take home as their treasure together with a prize certificate.

Prices from £1597 for a one-week charter (sleeps up to six people) for a two-cabin Sunsail 38 monohull (includes hats, bandanas, eye-patches, treasure map as well as outboard, end cleaning, fuel and YDW) departing on 10 October 2015 from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Flights and transfers can be booked individually.

For more information on sailing in the BVI please contact www.sunsail.co.uk or call 020 3411 4760

#BVItreasuresail

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Short duration charter in Turkey this summer

July 2015

If you crave the adrenalin rush of sailing in a balmy warm sea and the sky is blue and clear, then a cheeky weekend or short break away is possible to satisfy your needs. A short sailing break or weekend may be just the thing for you if you don't have time for a week-long holiday in the Med.

Sunsail have just announced ‘any-day-sail’, weekend breaks and any other short duration yacht charter with a minimum of three days available from now up until 31 October 2015. With prices from £105 per person (based on six sharing) for a Sunsail 36i Classic in Turgutreis departing on 10 October and from £108 per person in Göcek, Turkey, it’s also a bargain.

Call Sunsail on 020 3411 5873 or visit Sunsail Turkey base page. Flights, transfers and extras can be booked to suit individual requirements and several airlines fly from Gatwick and other major UK airports to the destination. For Turgutreis nearest airport is Bodrum and for Göcek it is Dalaman.

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USA Eagles Rugby World Cup Squad to sail in the Solent in September - meet and spend time with the team members

July 2015

Sportingclass Ltd, based in Twickenham, have announced the launch of the USA Eagles Rugby World Cup Squad Sailing Day in a once-in-a-life time opportunity to meet and spend time with members of the USA Rugby World Cup Squad, whilst enjoying the fun and excitement of a sailing event with Sunsail Events on the Solent.

The sailing will take place on 16th September 2015 onboard Sunsail’s fleet of identical Match First 40s. Teams of 8 guests join the event at Gunwharf Quays and will train and race under the guidance of Sunsail’s experienced skippers and mates. Each yacht will be branded with the participant companies logo, making the perfect photo opportunity against the back drop of the Emirates Spinnaker Tower and the famous waters of the Solent, that already host other leading events such as the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth and Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. 

Simon Boulding, Events Director of Sunsail commented “Sunsail is delighted to be partnering the USA Eagles and Sportingclass on this exciting new charity* sailing event. This is a truly unique opportunity in this World Cup year to sail alongside and mingle with USA Eagles players, whilst enjoying fantastic sailing and teambuilding on the Solent.” 

Andy Lee, Managing Director of Sportingclass commented “I am extremely pleased we have partnered with Sunsail Events for the USA Eagles Rugby World Cup Squad Sailing Day – it means this one-off experience will be of the highest caliber and I am sure an amazing and fun experience for all.”

Nigel Melville, a former England scrum-half and current CEO of USA Rugby, said “The Eagles are looking forward to the Rugby World Cup and have many fans in England. It will be great to have the opportunity to connect with them at some of the wonderful events we have planned.”

The USA Rugby team qualified for the Rugby World Cup in March 2014 and sit in Pool B alongside South Africa, Samoa, Japan and Scotland.

For bookings contact Michael Hlavaty at Sunsail Michael.hlavaty@sunsail.com or call  02392 222 221.

Sportingclass Ltd, established in 2002, is an exceptionally well-respected and trusted sports events, hospitality and consultancy company.

*USA Rugby Trust is the philanthropic arm of USA Rugby. Our fundraising activities support rugby youth initiatives, coaching and referee development, and build world-class athletes through our national teams. All funds raised at events during the 2015 World Cup will benefit our Men’s National Team.

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America's Cup World Series Portsmouth - Catch all the action with Sunsail 

June 2015

For the first time, the America’s Cup World Series comes to Portsmouth and will not just see the Ben Ainslie Racing team compete on ultra-fast foiling catamaran boats in their bid to win the series, but also Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Oracle Team USA, Team France and Team Japan.

This thrilling event, held from 23-26 July 2015, will take place just off Portsmouth’s Southsea Common, close to Sunsail’s UK base in Port Solent. Those lucky enough to be on-board one of Sunsail’s Match First 40 sailing yachts or its range of luxury powerboats will enjoy incredible views from the Sunsail exclusive buffer zone just metres from the action.

The teams will race at speeds of up to 40 mph as Ben Ainslie Racing start their journey to become the first British team ever to win the America's Cup and bring it back to the Solent, where it originated in 1851.

It isn’t just fast catamarans speed fans can enjoy; there are other activities happening every day:

First Thursday: See the parade of sail as each team displays its amazing racing machine and team of international sailing stars. Enjoy some practise starts of your own as your Sunsail skipper puts your team through its paces with a sailing master class and race tuition.  

Fast Friday: Watch spectacular practise racing from the teams as they prepare for battle. During the day, the incredible Red Arrows will show off their legendary high speed air display. Enjoy a full day on the water on either a Sunsail yacht or power boat package.

Big Saturday:  Enjoy front row seats on the water as the official racing programme gets underway. If that’s not enough there will be aerial displays and Royal Marines landing craft in action. Watch the action on a Sunsail yacht or powerboat from the exclusive spectator zone.

Super Sunday: The final day of action sees double points up for grabs in the racing as the winner takes it all, with more spectacular aerial displays to round of the feast of speed. And watch all this on your Sunsail yacht or powerboat from the best seats in town.

Sunsail’s yacht and powerboat packages include professional crew, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and as extras, we can organise anything else you can think of, such as champagne receptions and team clothing. Prices start at just £1,995 + VAT for a full day on the water.

Sunsail Events Director Simon Boulding said ‘We are really excited to be able to support Portsmouth and the British bid to bring the cup home. AC45s and the Red Arrows will make this the fastest and most exciting corporate hospitality event in the UK in 2015. Be sure to watch it with Sunsail from the best place on the water.’

For information on booking please contact

Alex Tredget on 02392 222 221 or alex.tredget@sunsail.com

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Combine your Sunsail sailing holiday with an ICC course and exam 

April 2015

“It is absolutely, unquestionably and without a shadow of a doubt the most fun way to get an internationally recognised skippers license.”

European countries are increasingly tightening up their regulations about what qualifications people need for yacht charters. Many holidaymakers have sailing experience, but don’t have the required qualification, like the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Day Skipper license, to hire a yacht to sail themselves with their families or friends.

To avoid having to do a course separately to gain certification before the yacht charter holiday, Sunsail has come up with a new concept:

  • Customer books a flotilla holiday in Croatia (choice of two different flotilla routes: either Hvar or Krka in the Dalmatian Islands) starting at Agana;
  • Sunsail provides a qualified ICC instructor/examiner on board of a Sunsail 47Premier for the entire week;  
  • Necessary training will be achieved during the week;
  • Pass the exam at the end of the week to achieve the ICC which is required to hire and sail a yacht without having to hire a professional skipper.

This combines the full social and sailing holiday experience of a Sunsail flotilla incorporating the RYA Start Yachting Course Certificate, the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS) online course, ICC course and exam.

What’s even better, you can be learning together as a family or with friends at the same time.

Prices from £2856 for a Sunsail 47 Premier sleeping up to six (from £476 pp) for one week sailing holiday at the Hvar flotilla in Croatia including flotilla and skipper fees departing 9 May 2015 (yacht damage waiver and flights not included). Curriculum includes the RYA Start Yachting Course, RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS) online course - to be completed prior to departing the UK - and the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) course and examination.

All party members will be able to complete the Start Yachting certification; however, a maximum of three sailors will be able to sit the ICC course and examination at the end of the week.

This combination offer is available for the following weeks on Hvar flotilla or Krka flotilla routes departing on:

2, 9 and 16 May

6, 13 and 27 June

8 and 15 August

12, 19 and 26 September 2015

For more information on Sunsail Flotilla Hero visit page

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Sunsail announces Scott Farquharson as new general manager 

April 2015

Sunsail sailing holidays announces the appointment of Scott Farquharson into the role of General Manager for Sunsail, based in Surbiton, United Kingdom.

Scott has been involved with the yacht charter industry since 1995 when he became base manager of Trade Wind Yachts in Tortola, British Virgin Island.  He subsequently became the Caribbean Director, responsible for operations, maintenance and marketing before moving on to Annapolis Bay Charters, where he was instrumental in revitalising their fleet and building strong sales growth.  Annapolis Bay Charters was eventually absorbed into the wider Dream Yacht business with Scott becoming the North American Director where he has been working for the past five years.

Simon Cross, President TUI Marine “We are thrilled that Scott has decided to join us at Sunsail. His depth of knowledge and his commitment to delivering fantastic yacht charter experiences is a great addition to the Sunsail team”.

Scott Farquharson, General Manager Sunsail “I am delighted to be given the opportunity of working with such a dedicated team of professionals. Honestly, this is the job I have always wanted, and I am looking forward to all of the challenges ahead. Together we will ensure that Sunsail continues to move forward and builds from its position as the premier charter holiday provider”.

Scott began sailing at the age of nine in Surbiton on the River Thames and this was the beginning of a lifelong love of boats and sailing.  He has completed two transatlantic crossings, one of them single handed, and has sailed extensively throughout the Caribbean. He is returning to the UK with his wife Joanne and their two dogs.

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Making Waves for Childhood Cancer

April 2015

The Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Alliance (NCCA) is holding its inaugural regatta entitled ‘Making Waves for Childhood Cancer’ at the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes, Isle of Wight, on 3 September 2015 to raise £100,000 for the fight against the dangerous childhood cancer neuroblatoma.

Cancer is the largest cause of death from disease amongst children in the UK. Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the nervous system, causes more deaths than any other cancer amongst the under-fives. Many children experience life-threatening relapses after achieving remission and some gaining no benefit whatsoever from current treatment options.

The NCCA, founding member of the initiative called INBRACED (International Research and Collaboration for Effective Delivery), draws together charities from the US, UK and wider Europe in order to make funds available for the development of new and more effective therapies.

The regatta is being organised in partnership with Sunsail Events, the leading sailing and events company in the UK, and will utilise the only perfectly matched fleet of yachts in the UK, Sunsail First Match 40s.

 “Our aim is to raise £100,000 which will allow us to move forward with an exciting and ground-breaking clinical trial as part of INBRACED, the first ever international trial for relapsed neuroblastoma“, says NCCA UK Chief Executive Bettina Bungay Balwah. “Currently there is no established cure for children who have relapsed from this illness.”

Simon Boulding, Sunsail events director said “Sunsail is delighted to support the NCCA’s first regatta and will do our utmost to assist them achieving their fundraising target.”

By giving children in different countries the same promising experimental treatment at the same time, trials can generate results faster whilst delivering the most exciting therapy options for more children.

For more information visit http://www.sunsail.co.uk/corporate-sailing and for registration please call 02392 222 221 or email events@sunsail.com

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Chilgrove new partner for yachting community 

March 2015

Following the recent announcement that the unique grape-distilled Chilgrove Gin is now the ‘Official Gin of AAM Cowes Week’, the award-winning Sussex based super-premium Gin producer has now formed a partnership with global sailing company Sunsail as their official ‘Spirits Partner’.

The natural affinity between gin and the sea is steeped in a tradition that stretches back centuries, so it is entirely fitting that Chilgrove should be positioning itself as the gin of choice for the yachting community.  The British Royal Navy was famously fond of the juniper-based spirit, and the deployment of the Navy throughout the world contributed to the popularity and consumption of gin globally.  A classic G&T is also an effective (and delicious) defense against seasickness due to the stomach calming effects of quinine and carbonation.

For over forty years, Sunsail have been at the forefront of sailing holidays ever since the first flotilla set sail from Aegina in the Saronic Gulf in 1974. Nowadays, the Sunsail teams are often seen racing in the Solent and many destinations abroad.

Simon Boulding, Events Director for Sunsail comments, ‘We are thrilled to be linked with such a high quality and innovative British brand as our official Spirits Partner. Pouring Chilgrove Gin at our events and presenting our winning teams with bottles of Chilgrove will be a welcome addition to Sunsail’s busy sailing season.’

Chilgrove Gin focuses on the traditional roots of distilling gin from grapes, the only British gin to do so, and hosts 11 signature botanicals. Chilgrove will be focusing on a number of iconic serves throughout Cowes Week and the wider sailing season.

The first is the ultimate G&T served with half a strawberry and sprig of fresh English mint in the glass. The second is the ‘Bright ‘n Breezy’ which is a reinvention of a classic 1920s prohibition era cocktail. The earliest recipe is credited to the Waldorf Astoria and was originally called a 'Foghorn' but has gone by many names since. The serve contains: 50ml gin, two wedges of lime (well squeezed), 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters, ice and topped up with Ginger Beer.

Founder Christopher Beaumont-Hutchings adds, “Our first year in production has been a huge success with Chilgrove Gin gaining attention around the world as the first British gin to be made using alcohol distilled from grapes rather than conventional cereal. We are delighted to have now partnered with both AAM Cowes Week and Sunsail as their official spirits partner and look forward to a successful season ahead.”

In addition to seeing the Chilgrove brand featured on the Sunsail fleet of Beneteau Match First 40 racing yachts, Chilgrove Gin will also have its very own racing mark positioned in a prime location in the Solent. The mark located at Latitude 50°46'16"N Longitude 01°13'09"W will be used throughout the season of sailing events which includes The Round the Island Race, Cowes Week and the Little Britain Challenge Cup.  Sunsail will also fly Chilgrove Gin flags from the fleet during Cowes Week 2015 and on other skippered events.

Visit www.chilgrovegin.com for more information or join the conversation on Twitter @ChilgroveGin. Likewise, if you are interested in finding out more about the Sunsail fleet and their events, please visit www.sunsail.co.uk.

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SLAM Sailing Clothing becomes official clothing partner for the UK operation of Sunsail Holidays, Events and Schools

March 2015

Sunsail is delighted to announce the appointment of SLAM Sailing Clothing as the official clothing partner for the UK operation of Sunsail Holidays, Events and Schools. Both brands share similar core values of quality and expertise, with Sunsail providing the best possible sailing experience using SLAM clothing that delivers in the varied conditions sailing provides.

SLAM advanced technology sailing gear was founded in 1979 by a group of sailing fanatic friends wanting to provide improvements to sailors’ comfort and performance. SLAM is the technical apparel line of choice for some of the world's top sailors including Russell Coutts, previous America's Cup winner.

Sunsail’s customers planning a sailing holiday overseas or in UK waters will be offered exclusive discounts with SLAM. Sunsail will also offer a full branding service for any crew that wish to add team names or company logos to their sailing kit.   

As part of the partnership, Sunsail’s acclaimed Sunsail Racing Series will now be known as the SLAM Sunsail Racing Series, with SLAM sponsoring all eight rounds throughout the year as well as contributing prizes for the winners of the final, held in November. SLAM will also support many key charity and industry regattas with Sunsail’s involvement such as the Little Britain Challenge Cup, the Polypipe Regatta, Co-operation Ireland Regatta, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Regatta, IBM BP Regatta through the donation of prizes.

Simon Boulding, Events Director Sunsail UK commented: “We’re pleased to have entered into a partnership with SLAM. This allows us to provide high quality sailing clothing to our customers at a price that offers excellent value for money. The style, technical excellence and global reach of SLAM is second to none.”

James Dixon, Brand Manager SLAM: “SLAM are pleased to launch this association with Sunsail UK. The UK's largest corporate fleet and some of the best sailing on our doorstep, it was an obvious fit. We look forward to seeing you out on the water in 2015 and competing in the SLAM Sunsail Racing Series.”

For more information on Sunsail visit www.sunsail.co.uk  and SLAM slamuk.com.

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Sail with a star

March 2015

Want to improve your sailing technique or beat the competition? Sunsail have teamed up with recruitment company Cat3Resources (C3R) to provide an exclusive new sailing experience, ‘Sail with a Star’, where a sailing celebrity joins the crew on board for their sailing event, deliver motivational talks or attend prize giving’s to make trophy presentations even more spectacular. This new feature adds an exclusive element to the yacht charter and provides genuine industry insider expertise to Sunsail sailing events.

What Sunsail and C3R provide is a world’s first: professional recruitment services combined with the assurance that customers have access to the best, most highly accomplished athletes and support staff in the industry. Names on their database include Dave CarrJoe GlanfieldSarah AytonPeter Greenhalgh and Nick Rogers as well as current and past Olympians, America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Extreme 40 crews who are some of the most experienced professional Cat 3 sailors in the world.

James Ward, Director, Cat3Resources said: “We are currently in the Golden Age of British Sailing. Never have we had so much success or British representation at the highest level of the sport, including the Olympics, Americas Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race as well as the various other professional racing circuits from The Extreme 40’s to TP52’s.  Sailing is one of the only sports in the world where you can race against, and with, the sport’s most famous stars on the same playing field, and now even in the same boats! It is fantastic we can work with Sunsail to make this happen for their clients.”

Simon Boulding, Events Director, Sunsail, commented: “Being able to establish a partnership with Cat3Resources is a great step for us, and will help make the very best from the sailing world accessible to a variety of sailing enthusiasts. This exclusive offering is a great addition to the turn-key event management solutions that Sunsail provide.”

With this new feature, Sunsail provides a platform for customers to rub shoulders with top professional sailors and an insight into what it takes to be the best in the industry. 

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0844 2732 177.

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Sunsail announces partnership with Whitsunday Rent A Yacht 

March 2015

Worldwide yacht charter company Sunsail, the sailing holiday brand of the leading tourism organisation TUI Group, has agreed a strategic partnership with Trinity Marine, trading as yacht charter company Whitsunday Rent A Yacht (WRAY) in Queensland, Australia. This partnership will strengthen both companies’ positions in the Australian yacht charter market as well as providing sailors based in Australia with even more access to worldwide chartering destinations through the Sunsail wide range of regions in their programme.

WRAY will be responsible for Sunsail’s base on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, managing the Sunsail fleet and all domestic yacht charter holiday sales. They will also become an agent for Sunsail’s other international destinations ranging from the Caribbean, Mediterranean and other exotic locations.

The Sydney office, expertly led by David Reid, will continue to be responsible for holiday sales to Sunsail’s international destinations as well as continuing to manage sales and marketing for Le Boat and The Moorings, Sunsail’s sister companies. There are no changes to the Sunsail yacht ownership, Sunsail brokerage, Leopard Catamarans and partnership with YachtDomain in Australia led by general manager David Flynn.

This decision to partner with Whitsunday Rent A Yacht gives us a huge advantage in the Australian market,” said Simon Cross, President of Sunsail. “WRAY has amassed a vast amount of expertise in the sailing area and the domestic Australian charter market which we will be able to utilise, while maintaining the very high standards that Sunsail customers have come to expect.”

“We are excited partnering with Sunsail, the world’s leading yacht charter brand” said Sedron Hooper, CEO of Trinity Marine. “By combining Sunsail’s fleet in Hamilton Island with our expertise we can offer customers unrivalled quality and service when they charter a yacht in the Whitsundays. Now we can offer alternative destinations in Europe and the Caribbean, something we haven’t been able to do before. We are very excited about growing our business in partnership with Sunsail.”

For yacht charter holidays through Sunsail see www.sunsail.com.au or call 1800 803 988

Trinity Marine Group/ Whitsunday Rent A Yacht (WRAY)

For over 30 years Whitsunday Rent A Yacht (WRAY) has offered skipper yourself charter holidays in the Whitsundays, Queensland. Wholly owned and operated by the Trinity Marine Group, WRAY operates from its private jetty facility in Shute Harbour and provides access to the iconic Whitsunday cruising region for beginners and expert sailors alike.

With a fleet of 21 vessels including the some of the most popular models of yacht, catamaran and motor cruiser in the business, WRAY has proudly become an operator of choice in the Australian domestic charter market.

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Sunsail sponsors ABP Southampton half marathon 

February 2015

Sunsail has just signed a contract to become official sailing partner and event sponsor of the UK's leading ports group Associated British Ports (ABP) Southampton Half Marathon, held on 26 April 2015.

This new major sporting event with expected 6000 participants offers runners the choice of either a half marathon or 10 km race along closed roads through the heart of Southampton passing iconic local landmarks including Bargate, QE2 Anchor and St Mary’s Stadium. Highlight will be running both the ascent and more popularly the descent over the Itchen Bridge, which will be closed exclusively for this unique event. 

Sunsail have been providing quality sailing experiences for more than 40 years, with amazing holidays worldwide, and fantastic opportunities to learn to sail or to get out on the water with corporate events from the base in Port Solent, Portsmouth. Sunsail are passionate about sailing and passionate about sports, and are excited to be supporting this event within the local community.

In addition, Sunsail has a team of energetic runners ready to face the race in April, in aid of the sailing charity Sail4Cancer. Sail 4 Cancer is a charity that provides water-based respite days and holidays for families affected by cancer.

Simon Boulding, Events Director Sunsail: “There is a synergy between this race and the sense of adventure and excitement of sailing therefore sponsoring this unique local event which is all about being active and achieving more tallies up.”   

Chris Rees, Event Director, ABP Southampton Half: “We are excited to be partnered with Sunsail as our official sailing partner, it’s great to get involved with local businesses, and are pleased to be linked with the active lifestyle that sailing offers.”

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What's a Peka, a Babic and a Grappa Mirta?

February 2015

Meet the perfect way to discover the Dalmatian Islands. Devised by our Croatia team using their local knowledge of all the best parts of Dalmatia, this special Flotilla from our base at Agana is the perfect way to be introduced to Dalmatian cuisine, culture and wine as you explore these spectacular islands.

Everyone loved this Flotilla so much that we've already made plans for 2016 - this special one week Flotilla running from Agana will set sail again on 4 June, 11 June, 17 September and 24 September 2016! Book early so you won’t miss your chance to discover the cuisine and culture of Dalmatia! This Flotilla is not available online, please call us for more information and prices.

The growing reputation of Croatia for world-class wine is founded greatly upon the vineyards of the Dalmatian islands, with some wineries – like Day 4’s Zlatan Plenković – now famous worldwide for their wine, including some of Croatia’s only Grand Cru.

This Flotilla combines the best parts of a wine tasting tour with all the benefits of a Flotilla. Your Lead Crew will organise vineyard tours and dinner in advance, meaning you can relax knowing everything is taken care of. Find out more about what else is included in a Flotilla here.

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Sunsail sponsors Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover 

January 2015

Sunsail, the world's leading sailboat charter company, will sponsor the Newport stopover at the famous Volvo Ocean Race sailing event, Sail Newport announced. Scheduled for 5-17 May 2015, this is the only North American stopover during the nine-month circumnavigation of the globe. Sunsail will work closely with the organisers to ensure an outstanding experience for all event attendees by hosting the Global Experience Pavilion which will feature a number of cultural experiences from its 26 different destinations. 

"The Volvo Ocean Race is the world's leading ocean race event. People all over the world will be inspired to go sailing and there's no better way to enjoy a sail vacation then on a Sunsail Charter" said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport and director of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover.

The Volvo Ocean Race boats are expected to arrive in the U.S. in the first week of May. A 12-day public festival in the shore side race village will have these massive race boats on display at Sail Newport in Fort Adams State Park. This event is free of charge and visitors will be able to see the international team compounds and the operations of the shore teams in technical and sail loft areas. All boats will also participate in training, pro-am and in-shore racing within yards of the shoreline with expert commentary for optimal spectator viewing during the festival at Fort Adams State Park.

In addition, the sailing village will include interactive exhibits, sponsor pavilions, car and truck displays, entertainment, marine education activities, food and the Heineken House hospitality area. 

"Sunsail's partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover is an easy fit. Our goal is to provide an adventure of a lifetime to our customers, what better way to be inspired to live your life to the extreme than by experiencing the Volvo Ocean Race" said Simon Cross, president Sunsail.

Sunsail also donated a sailing holiday in the British Virgin Islands to Sail Newport as an auction item to raise funds for the non-profit sailing centre for its community sailing programmes (www.sailnewport.org). The winning bidder will also enjoy two VIP tickets to the Ocean Race Club to watch the Newport pro-am races on Friday 15 May. 

Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race is currently on its third leg of competition. The boats left Abu Dhabi and are expected to arrive in Sanya (China) in late January. On 8 February, the fleet will leave China and race to Auckland (New Zealand). After a stop in Itajai (Brazil), the will head to Newport where they are expected to arrive on 19 April. After an approximate two-week stay in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, the fleet then races from Newport to Lisbon (Portugal) and from Portugal to Lorient (France). After Lorient, a 24-hour pit stop will be made in the Hague (Netherlands) and then the teams will make their final sprint to the finish line in Gothenburg (Sweden), the Swedish home of Volvo, in July 2015.

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New Sunsail 404 available in the British Virgin Islands from September 2015 

January 2015

SUNSAIL is delighted to announce the new Sunsail catamaran 404, currently in production by the South-African boat builders Robertson and Caine, available for charter in the British Virgin Islands from September 2015. The 40ft cat has already been on sea trials early December in Cape Town and all is going according to plan.

The experienced naval architects Simonis and Voogd have created a modern catamaran which resembles her predecessors in speed, agility and blue-water performance, and her enhancements include an increased volume in the hulls allowing for additional interior space and an innovative interior layout.

Offered in a four cabin layout with two heads, the Sunsail 404 will be ideal for charter parties up to 10. The fully appointed galley is located forward and adjacent to a spacious settee located aft. Oversized sliding glass doors open to the aft cockpit, providing panoramic views from the interior and the best of indoor and outdoor living. This arrangement promotes easy communication for guests and an open flow between the saloon and the aft cockpit. With ample seating in both areas, this new layout lends itself to a spacious, social ambiance and increased ventilation throughout, especially when the forward access door is open as well.

This door opens to a forward area with a trampoline perfect for sunbathing and relaxing. When it comes to navigating, the Sunsail 404 features a raised helm station with a full range of Raymarine electronics, supplementary power from dual 29 horsepower engines providing superior agility and speed on the water.

John Robertson, managing director and co-founder of Robertson and Caine, said: “This catamaran has taken the unifying concept dramatically further by a complete redesign of the seating arrangements from the cockpit to the saloon and moving the galley forward. A large door and window combination opens to allow flow between the two areas, and the floor and seating throughout is on the same level aiding social interaction.”

Prices from £4,970 for a one week charter including outboard and cruising permits.

Sailing in the British Virgin Islands

Sunsail’s base at Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola, is the best located and best equipped yacht charter base on the island. Situated on the outskirts of Road Town, it is the perfect start point for an incredible British Virgin Islands' sailing adventure.  In fact, the sailing is so fantastic that Sunsail has more yachts here than anywhere else in the world.

At the base, the reception area opens on to a landscaped plaza, with panoramic views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel.  From here visitors can stroll among the retail shops or stop in the café serving island pastries, ice cream and gourmet coffee.  A full service spa is also available, providing the latest in relaxing treatments.

Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant, built over the water and overlooking the harbour, offers the coldest cocktails and a sumptuous yet informal menu.  A business centre with free Wi-Fi internet access is also on site, along with a swimming pool, full service restaurant and dockside market.

Hotel rooms offer luxury accommodation overlooking the harbour, perfect for those wishing to extend their holiday by a few days.

The British Virgin Islands have all of the essential elements for the ultimate sailing experience in one perfect place: easy deep-water island hops, consistent trade winds, line-of-sight navigation and plentiful sheltered anchorages make this an excellent family-friendly location, perfect for sailing adventures. 

Striking white sand beaches boast extraordinary rock formations and a great selection of laid-back bars and restaurants. Water visibility of 100-130ft makes snorkelling, kayaking and paddle-boarding a real thrill, spotting hawksbill turtles, manta rays, eagle rays, trumpet fish and angelfish. For even more adventure, Sunsail can hook you up with local dive schools and all kinds of other cool activities on the water, under or over it.

Sunsail is dedicated to preserving the cruising grounds it operates in, and therefore environmental considerations are central. A desalination plant provides 60,000 gallons of water daily, plus the laundry operation recycles treated water that saves 12,000 gallons.  The marina also includes a flow through breakwater assisted by a pump to greatly improve the quality of water in the harbour.

Principal specifications

Length Overall                   39 ft 4 in / 11.99 m

Hull Length                         38 ft 1 in / 11.62 m

Beam                                   22 ft 1 in / 6.72 m

Draft                                    4 ft 1 in / 1.25 m

Sail Area                             1032 sq ft / 95.9 sqm

Engines                               2 x 29 hp

Fuel Capacity                     95 US Gal / 360 l

Water Capacity                 206 US Gal / 780 l

Berths                                 8 + 2 in fore peaks, or 6 + 1 in fore peak

Displacement                    20,591 lbs / 9340 kg

Heads / Showers               2 + Forepeak head / 2 + Transom shower

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0844 2732 177.

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2014

Sunsail sponsors Little Britain Challenge 

October 2014

The Little Britain Challenge Cup, the biggest sailing regatta for property and construction, is delighted to announce that Sunsail Events has agreed a 3 year deal to become a Silver Sponsor and an Official Charter Partner of the Little Britain Challenge Cup for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Sunsail operates the only fleet of perfectly matched charter boats in the UK and the Sunsail Match First 40s have competed in their own Little Britain Challenge Cup class for a number of years.  

Sunsail has developed specific charter packages for the Little Britain Challenge Cup that offer excellent value for money and cater for both bareboat and skippered charterers.  Sunsail will work closely with Little Britain to promote the regatta and specifically encourage new entrants to the event.

Commenting on the announcement, David Kong, Chairman of the Little Britain Organising Committee said: “Sunsail have been great supporters of Little Britain for many years and have helped us raise thousands of pounds for charity.

My company has chartered Sunsail Match First 40s for years.  Racing in the F40 fleet is fun and a real leveller for both the experienced sailor and the beginner.There’s no handicap excuses if you don’t come first. The yachts perform well, look good and don’t break the budget.”

Simon Boulding, Events Director of Sunsail UK, said: “We are delighted to be joining the family of Little Britain Challenge Cup sponsors and building on our long association with this tremendous regatta. Our matched fleet of boats offer thrilling racing in Sunsail’s own one design class at Little Britain and we have devised both simple bareboat charter packages and comprehensive Turn Key solutions that cater for all.”

About Little Britain Challenge Cup

The LBCC established 27 years ago, is the biggest annual UK gathering of senior property and construction industry figureheads.  The LBCC also supports a number of charities:  Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, Jubilee Sailing Trust, Team GBR Paralympic Sailing Team, Cirdan Sailing Trust, Cowes Sea Cadets, Island Youth Water Activities Centre, Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue, Cowes Sailability Club.  For more information visit www.littlebritain.co.uk

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2015 Financial Challenge launched with Sunsail

October 2014

Over 150 finance professionals participated in the inaugural Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Finance Challenge in 2014 and due to its success, the 2015 event will not just be repeated, it will be staged over five days instead of a one-day regatta. It will be organised in partnership with Sunsail, the newly appointed official charter sailing partner of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, using Sunsail’s identical fleet of 30 Sunsail Match First 40s from 10 to 14 August, 2015.

The winners of last year’s regatta, Aberdeen 1, followed by Deloitte Blue, with Red Funnel M&G 1 in third, already expressed an interest to participate. At the end of each day, prizes will be given to the winners at Sunsail’s hospitality area in the lively Cowes Yacht Haven. The overall Challenge champions will be awarded the perpetual Finance Challenge Trophy on Friday 14 August.

All finance companies racing in the Sunsail Match First 40 class will be eligible to enter and Sunsail has already allocated a portion of its 30 strong fleet to those companies.

Commenting on the announcement, Jill Maxwell, Group Head of Sponsorship & Corporate Events at Aberdeen Asset Management said: “The 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Finance Challenge was a real success and something we are really proud of, especially as we managed to cross the line in first place! The new five day format in 2015 will create even more of an opportunity for finance professionals to compete against and network with each other in a friendly, yet competitive race.”

Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director at CWL, added:  “The Finance Challenge at this year’s regatta provided some great added interest for those finance companies taking part, giving the Sunsail fleet an added competitive focus during the regatta. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in 2015 with the new five day format! ”

Simon Boulding, Events Director of Sunsail UK, said: “The Sunsail fleet is perfectly matched, creating the ideal platform for finance professionals from around the world to compete against each other on a level playing field, with just the skill and determination of the teams deciding who will win.”

The 2015 regatta takes place from 8 – 15 August. Companies wishing to enter the Challenge should contact Alex Tredget of Sunsail Events at alex.tredget@sunsail.com

About Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Cowes Week is one of the UK's longest running sporting events, having first taken place in 1826. The aspirational and inclusive sailing regatta is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting between 800 and 1,000 yachts in up to 40 classes. Around 7,000 competitors race during the week ranging from weekend sailors to World Champions and Olympic medallists.

The lively festival atmosphere at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week means there is plenty of social and exciting onshore activities for sailors and the thousands of spectators who visit Cowes each year. The next edition of the regatta takes place from 8-15 August 2015 (a little later than usual due to the tides). Entries are now open online.

The event is supported by its Title Sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management and the following supporting sponsors also help to make the event a success: Boss Watches, Chatham Marine, CNBC, Gill, Isle of Wight Council, Mount Gay Rum, Sunsail and Volvo Car UK. The Official event charity is UKSA, supporting youth sailing opportunities.

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Sunsail partners Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 

October 2014

Cowes Week Limited (CWL), the organisation behind the world's premier sailing regatta Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, today announced that the leading sailing company Sunsail becomes their official charter sailing partner for the 2015 and 2016 regattas.

Sunsail’s matched fleet of 30 Sunsail Match First 40s will be available to both private individuals and businesses from Sunsail’s regatta base in Cowes Yacht Haven on the Isle of Wight, which includes a dedicated hospitality area for its clients.

Commenting on the announcement Simon Cross, President of TUI Marine and Sunsail, said: “Cowes Week and Sunsail are both part of the domestic and international sailing communities’ heritage and this new partnership seems entirely natural. We will be working closely with the regatta to make sailing with Sunsail even more accessible, both in the UK and at our many overseas locations. We look forward to working with the regatta organisers, its participants, its spectators and fans around the world.”

Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director at CWL, added: “Sunsail has been an important part of our regatta for many years and we’re delighted to cement this successful relationship by extending it in this way. Many people have been introduced to our great sport through Sunsail sailing days and we look forward to introducing even more people to sailing and our event through this new relationship. One of the specific initiatives we’re looking forward to developing in partnership with Sunsail and the TUI group of companies is a package that makes entering the event for overseas visitors even easier”.

The 2015 regatta takes place from 8 – 15 August.

END

Sunsail introduces new bases for 2015 

September 2014

SUNSAIL is delighted to introduce its 2015 brochure, announcing the addition of three further Greek bases ensuring total coverage of the key sailing areas in this part of the western Mediterranean.

The addition of these new bases brings the total number of worldwide destinations now offered by this leading yacht holiday company to 26 diverse destinations throughout 19 different countries with a fleet of over 800 yachts and catamarans offering the entire range of sailing experiences from learning to sail to sociable sailing flotillas to the ultimate freedom of independent yacht charters.

Lefkas and Corfu, two new bases in the Ionian

Predictable wind conditions and calm evenings typify the Ionian sailing experience. From our new base in Lefkas town, some of the Mediterranean’s most stunning beaches, traditional villages and picturesque coves only reachable by boat can be found. Sheltered waters and gentle winds contrast with breezier open water stretches making this area an eternal favourite of sailors of all experience levels. Watersports opportunities abound, with snorkelling, kayaking and paddle-boarding just some of the activities on offer.

Three one-week flotilla routes in the Ionian will start from Lefkas town which are the perfect introduction to the Ionian: Kalamos flotilla with short sailings to traditional villages; Lefkas flotilla with longer passages but line-of-sight sailing; Kefalonia flotilla with some long distance sailing. The two-week Ithaca flotilla includes short and long distance passages and plenty of free sailing opportunities as well. All flotillas are led by a Sunsail crew who provide technical assistance, organise dining and social options, and on family flotillas, coordinate children’s activities.

The new base on Corfu is ideally positioned to explore the Northern Ionian. Perfect for experienced sailors looking to stretch their sea legs, Corfu offers a plethora of options: sail south to explore the larger, well-known islands of Paxos and Kefalonia, or head north towards the hideaway islets, where a blend of hidden history and secluded beaches beckon.

New base in Athens in the Saronic Gulf

The new Sunsail base at Zea Marina gives access to the Saronic Gulf, the gateway to the mythical Cyclades Islands providing opportunities for both shorter and longer sailing passages. Culture vultures can immerse themselves in the capital’s history, while confident sailors can strike out for the sights of picturesque Santorini or mythical Naxos. For all to enjoy, the closer islands of Kea and Aegina offer more leisurely sailors equally delightful natural beauty.

Those joining the one-week Saronic flotilla out of Zea Marina can look to Sunsail’s team for tips on handling the area’s stronger afternoon breezes to make the most of longer passages, find out about secluded anchorages and get an insight to the area’s many classical relics, traditional Greek fishing villages and finest restaurants.

Sunsail’s yacht fleet is the youngest in the Mediterranean. The Premier Plus range features boats less than twelve months old, while all boats are younger than six years.

There are twelve models of monohull available with two 4-cabin catamaran options, including the award-winning Sunsail 444. While monohulls remain a popular traditionalist’s choice, catamarans offer better performance and improved space suitable for families and larger groups.

As with all Sunsail bases worldwide, experienced and knowledgeable staff are also on hand at all of the new bases, ready to point visitors in the direction of local highlights and to share their boating expertise. Flotilla crews and instructors are all Royal Yachting Association qualified and passionate about sailing, customers can rest assured they are in good hands. 

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0844 2732 177.

END

New fleet heads to the Caribbean 

September 2014

Sunsail is delighted to announce a number of premium additions to enhance its world-class fleet. From December 2014, Sunsail’s Caribbean-based charter fleet will offer customers a choice of three exciting new monohulls, promising the perfect blend of performance and comfort.

The Sunsail 51, Sunsail 47 and Sunsail 41 will form part of Sunsail’s Premier Plus offering for the first 12 months of operation. In total, 12 new yachts will be available across the British Virgin Islands, St Martin and St Lucia bases.

All three models are derived from top boat builder Jeanneau’s popular Sun Odyssey range, chosen by Sunsail for its high build quality, reliability and design flare.  

The spacious Sunsail 51 - the largest yacht offered of any in Sunsail’s 1000-strong worldwide fleet - is undoubtedly the star of the show. Experienced sailors delight at the ease of handling and glistening performance that’s at its best in the Caribbean’s steady winds. Topping Sunsail’s Premier Plus line up, the Sunsail 51 sports eye-catching lines above decks that are paralleled by the sumptuous interior below decks. With four comfortable double-berth cabins, each with its own heads, this luxurious model boasts a generous open-plan saloon and well-equipped galley, ample on-deck relaxation areas, plus all the convenience of its own generator and air conditioning as standard.   

Also from the drawing board of Jeanneau’s Philippe Briand, the stylish Sunsail 47 offers three double cabins, all en-suite, and delivers all the elegance and performance of her bigger sister. Emphasis is again on ease of handling. Sail controls are all readily accessible from the helm - simplifying the skipper’s job and maximising fun and relaxation whilst underway. 

The sleek-looking Sunsail 41 completes the line-up - an evolution of the Jeanneau 39i, a very popular boat that has been a favourite within the Sunsail fleet for some time. Twin wheels and a generous sail plan make this yacht a dream to handle, and with a light, voluminous interior comprising three cabins, two heads and roomy saloon/galley area, not to mention the generous swim platform and clean deck layout, the Sunsail 41 makes an ideal monohull for families. 

All three models will be in operation by the end of 2014, giving Sunsail customers the choice of exploring the Caribbean in premium style and comfort this winter.

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0844 2732 177.

END

New flights launch to the BVIs 

September 2014

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are consistently recognised as one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world and now getting there is even easier as the BVI Tourist Board announce a new VIP air service.

The new flights launch between Antigua and Beef Island in The BVI on October 31st 2014 and are available to book now. The flights connect with the arrival/departure of scheduled British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights between London Gatwick and Antigua. The twice a week flights, on Fridays and Saturdays, operated by VI Airlink, also include a personalised meet and greet concierge service meaning guests will be met after clearing immigration and be escorted through the baggage hall, customs and security, ensuing a stress-free connection.

Commenting on the new VIP air service, Sharon Flax-Mars, Director of Tourism says: “Our passenger numbers from the UK have been growing and I am proud to say that we listened to our industry partners and added the extra airlift they need.  I'll be even prouder when we welcome their guests in The BVI and share some of our most enchanting secrets whether it's the 16 miles of sandy beaches on Anegada, our abundant reefs waiting to be snorkelled or simply our glorious sunsets with cocktail recipes to take back home.  I am pleased to be working with a world class BVI airline offering our visitors efficient service and friendly BVI welcomes from Antigua.”

Ginny Hawksley, Manager UK, BVI Tourist Board goes on to say: “The launch of these new flights enables travellers from the UK to enjoy more time in the British Virgin Islands thanks to a quicker transfer time in Antigua. The personalised meet and greet concierge service also takes the stress out of connecting flights and ensures guests arrive in style and depart feeling truly relaxed.”

The timing of the new flights will allow visitors departing from the British Virgin Islands to enjoy more time in their destination on the day of departure, while incoming guests will arrive in time for evening supper.

Neville Brathwaite Jr, a spokesman for V I Airlink, said: “V I Airlink is proud to partner with the BVI Tourist Board, to be the first, and only BVI registered Airline to connect the BVI to Antigua in over ten years”

Flights start from £249 round trip, including taxes.  For more information and to book call your travel agent or phone 0843 289 3589.

 

The British Virgin Islands is an archipelago of 60 islands situated just east of Puerto Rico. Other nearby neighbours include the United States Virgin Islands, located to the immediate south-west of the BVI. Fifteen of the islands are inhabited with the main islands consisting of Tortola (with the capital Road Town), Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.

The British Virgin Islands can be reached via connecting flights through other Caribbean airports including Antigua, St Thomas, Puerto Rico, St Kitts or St Maarten. From the UK a number of airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, offer scheduled flights to Antigua with connecting flights to Tortola available with LIAT and VI Airlink or by private charter flight. Island hopping is made easy with frequent, speedy and efficient ferry services from Tortola to Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada and Peter Island.

VI Airlink is owned and operated in the BVI and provides exclusive private air charter and scheduled airline services offering connections throughout the Caribbean. For further information visit www.viairlink.com

END

A Christmas like no other 

August 2014

Sunsail invites customers to explore one of the world’s top cruising destinations this winter, and share a truly special Christmas break with family and friends.

From just £3,828 for a 384 –4 cabin catamaran in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (sleeps up to nine people), you can swap crowded shops for deserted anchorages; rainy days for blue skies and steady winds. Trade tasteless turkey dinners for mouthwatering barbecued seafood; sip rum cocktails rather than eggnog, as you sit back, relax and soak up the stunning beauty of your surroundings.

A Christmas in the Caribbean is a Christmas like no other.

Adding to the already unbeatable blend of outstanding watersports, pristine beaches and fine dining, December brings another dimension to paradise, as the islands explode in a fantastical celebration of the festive season, each indulging in its own individual vibe.

A Sunsail charter puts customers and their loved ones at the heart of that, with the freedom to hop from island to island to experience the very best of the festive season. From Antigua, for example, why not set sail for nearby St Kitts to take in the dazzling Boxing Day carnival, celebrating local folklore and traditional dance. Or perhaps soak up the festival atmosphere in the Bahamas with the colourful Junkanoo Street Parade - think Times Square meets Mardi Gras!

For the ultimate celebration, customers can extend their stay into the New Year. Fireworks and reggae dancing top the bill across the Caribbean, with the BVI’s making the number one party hot-spot - some ‘Old Year’s Eve’ celebrations continue on for 48 hours! Party the night away and then kick back and watch the sun rise over the sparkling blue sea on the first day of the New Year.

This year we offer our customers to purchase a Christmas hamper for those who wish to experience a few ‘home comforts’ while out on the water for only US$160. It includes a Charlie Brown Christmas tree (Lionel’s blanket included), traditional Christmas crackers, destination British Virgin Islands Guide Book, Caribbean eggnog chocolate, Cadbury fruit and nut cheesecake, croissants, pineapple, grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis, pears.

Quite simply, we can’t imagine a better place on the planet to see in 2015.

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0844 2732 177.

END

Sunsail achieves ISO accreditation for second time 

August 2014

In September 2013, Sunsail’s Port Solent Base achieved ISO 20121 1 third party certification for sustainable event management and this prestigious accreditation was renewed this week. Well done to Jackie McLean and the whole team for keeping our sustainability goals alive and kicking.

What is ISO 20121 1?

It is an internationally recognised management standard that helps organisations to maximise economic, social and environmental opportunities in their events, reducing negative impact through improved planning and processes.

END

Launch of the Aberdeen Asset Management Finance Challenge with Sunsail

July 2014

With just under a month to go until the 179th instalment of the world’s most famous sailing regatta, Aberdeen Asset Management and Sunsail are pleased to announce the creation of the inaugural Finance Challenge during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014.

As part of the challenge, all financial services companies which are due to compete in the Sunsail First 40 class on Tuesday 5th August will automatically be entered into the 20 boat strong competition which will run as a competition within the competition.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Finance Challenge Trophy will be presented to the winning crew during a drinks reception in the Cowes Yacht Haven Events Centre after racing.

Commenting on the announcement, Jill Maxwell, Sponsorship Manager at Aberdeen Asset Management said: “We’re really pleased to announce details of the first Aberdeen Asset Management Finance Challenge at this year’s regatta which we are sure will prove really popular.”

“Sailing is a sport which demonstrates team work, dedication and competitiveness which really fits in with our company’s ethos. To have all these great companies battling it out in one class is sure to be a real spectacle and certainly one not to be missed.”

Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director for Cowes Week Limited added: “We’re delighted to be in our fourth year working with Aberdeen Asset Management as our title sponsor and look forward to seeing how this inaugural Finance Challenge plays-out – it’s sure to be highly competitive!”

Simon Boulding, Events Director of Sunsail commented: “The Sunsail Match First 40 fleet is one of a kind so we are delighted it has been chosen as the class to host the Finance Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Hopefully it will become a permanent fixture of the regatta year on year.”

For more information on Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week (2-9 August) please visit www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

END

Sunsail Reveals Premium Line Up As New Fleet Heads to Caribbean 

July 2014

Sunsail is delighted to announce a number of premium additions to enhance its world-class fleet. From December 2014, Sunsail’s Caribbean-based charter fleet will offer customers a choice of three exciting new monohulls, promising the perfect blend of performance and comfort.

The Sunsail 51, Sunsail 47 and Sunsail 41 will form part of Sunsail’s Premier Plus offering for the first 12 months of operation. In total, 12 new yachts will be available across the British Virgin Islands, St Martin and St Lucia bases.

All three models are derived from top boat builder Jeanneau’s popular Sun Odyssey range, chosen by Sunsail for its high build quality, reliability and design flare.  

Peter Cochran, Sunsail’s VP of Operations, comments: "Sunsail has partnered with Jeanneau for many years and the new Sunsail 41, 47 and 51 will be built by our friends in France. Jeanneau is our choice for monohulls because we know how well they suit our charter customers from around the globe and how they deal with the sailing conditions of the bases we operate in. For the enthusiastic sailor, these monos can really shift too!”

The spacious Sunsail 51 - the largest yacht offered of any in Sunsail’s 1000-strong worldwide fleet - is undoubtedly the star of the show. Experienced sailors delight at the ease of handling and glistening performance that’s at its best in the Caribbean’s steady winds. Topping Sunsail’s Premier Plus line up, the Sunsail 51 sports eye-catching lines above decks that are paralleled by the sumptuous interior below decks. With four comfortable double-berth cabins, each with its own heads, this luxurious model boasts a generous open-plan saloon and well-equipped galley, ample on-deck relaxation areas, plus all the convenience of its own generator and air conditioning as standard.   

Also from the drawing board of Jeanneau’s Philipe Briande, the stylish Sunsail 47 offers three double cabins, all en-suite, and delivers all the elegance and performance of her bigger sister. Emphasis is again on ease of handling. Sail controls are all readily accessible from the helm - simplifying the skipper’s job and maximising fun and relaxation whilst underway. 

The sleek-looking Sunsail 41 completes the line up - an evolution of the Jeanneau 39i, a very popular boat that has been a favourite within the Sunsail fleet for some time. Twin wheels and a generous sail plan make this yacht a dream to handle, and with a light, voluminous interior comprising three cabins, two heads and roomy saloon/galley area, not to mention the generous swim platform and clean deck layout, the Sunsail 41 makes an ideal monohull for families. 

All three models will be in operation by the end of 2014, giving Sunsail customers the choice of exploring the Caribbean in premium style and comfort this winter.

For more information see www.sunsail.co.uk or call 0844 2732 177.

END

Sunsail teams up with the Royal Yacht Squadron to celebrate 200 years

July 2014

Sunsail has today announced that The Royal Yacht Squadron has selected Sunsail’s fleet of Beneteau First 40s to provide one design class racing for 25 teams from 19 countries. The fleet will race as part of a very special week-long event in July 2015 to mark the Squadron’s 200 year history. 

The 25-strong fleet is equally matched and maintained to the highest standard, and will enable all the teams to compete on a level playing field. The one design class is expected to draw much attention, as close and highly memorable racing is anticipated. Clubs have been specially invited to take part in recognition of friend ships that have evolved through mutual and reciprocal sailing activities over many years. Invitations to join the event have also been extended to the Cowes Combined Clubs.

The Royal Yacht Squadron, as one of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs, is renowned for its nurturing of yachting excellence. The Bicentennial Regatta promises to provide a truly spectacular showcase of yachting in the world-renowned waters of the Solent. A large number of visiting yachts, including several J-Class yachts and Nautor’s Swans, have all indicated interest in taking part alongside the one design racing in the Beneteau First 40 fleet provided by Sunsail.

David Aisher, Rear Commodore Yachting at the Royal Yacht Squadron, commented: “After a detailed selection process, Sunsail’s fleet of Beneteau First 40s proved to offer the perfect fleet for the Bicentennial Regatta’s leve

l rating class. We look forward to developing a very close working relationship with the team at Sunsail and are confident that together we will deliver a superb and memorable event to the regatta participants.”

Simon Boulding, Events Director at Sunsail, commented: “We are delighted and immensely proud to be partnering the Royal Yacht Squadron for this spectacular celebration of sailing in 2015. Sunsail has a unique offering, with the only truly matched fleet in the UK, and one that is maintained to the highest standards. Our preparations for the Bicentennial Regatta have already started in earnest and this announcement marks just one of the early steps in the journey of delivering a top quality fleet to the most prestigious regatta the Solent will have seen for many years.”

The RYS Bicentennial will be held from 25th-31st July 2015, taking place two weeks before Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, at which Sunsail’s Beneteau First 40s will be available for individual charter.

END

All hands on deck 

June 2014

The Family Holiday Association together with TUI Travel’s Sunsail, raised over £18,965 on a sun-soaked sailing day at Sunsail’s Portsmouth base in Port Solent. The money was raised to send disadvantaged children, the majority of which have not seen the sea, on a sea-side break with their family.

The event , which was the first of its kind to be put on by the Family Holiday Association since TUI Travel’s Peter Long was named as President, was supported by Sunsail and saw 13 teams take to the water to race on the Solent on Sunsail’s fleet of Sunsail First 40 Match yachts.

Over two million children live in families who cannot afford a day trip to the seaside – far less a simple holiday. The Family Holiday Association works to help disadvantaged children that face daily hardship made worse by the likes of illness, bereavement or disability get that much needed break away from home. All the funds raised from the sailing day will go directly to the cause.

Peter Long, President of the Family Holiday Association, said: “The money raised will be fundamental in helping disadvantaged families get a break this summer. I would like to thank everyone involved for their support. I am delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile cause that helps deserved families around the UK get the break they need. The sailing day was a great success and helps to raise some much needed funds.”

Family Holiday Association Charity Director, John McDonald, added: “We were delighted with how many people took part in support of our charity and I would like to thank all of them, not to mention what a great day out we had. The team at Sunsail were fantastic, without their dedication and help the event could not have happened. Our aim is to help over 2,000 families get the deserved break they need this year and the funds raised will go towards allowing that to happen.”

The Family Holiday Association helps more than 8,000 children and parents each year by providing simple UK seaside breaks to help them escape the stresses of bereavement, poverty, chronic illness, inadequate housing or domestic violence.

The charity is funded solely by donations from the public and the tourism industry.

The Family Holiday Association was founded in 1975 and is registered charity no 800262.

END

Sunsail's new partner EE

June 2014

Sunsail has chosen EE, the UK's most advanced digital communications company, as its business communications partner, and is proud to feature in a new radio advert and a TV spot promoting EE’s new 4G plan, Business Extra. The advert will be aired on over 90 radio stations with 268 spots, beginning 21 June and the television advert can be viewed online at the following link

The advert was filmed at Sunsail’s Port Solent base, and profiles Simon Boulding, Events Director of Sunsail UK, who explains the benefits of the partnership for Sunsail.

As the world’s largest sailing and watersports holiday company, Sunsail’s international business model and network of offices - spanning some 30 locations worldwide - requires staff to operate in a mobile network environment. With EE’s Business Extra plan, staff will be able to manage and control communications costs, thanks to three hours of inclusive calls to and from the USA, as well as within Europe. There is also the option to add-on simple data packages as required, which can even be purchased whilst overseas.

Whether it’s liaising with clients, reporting back to the office or staying in touch with the family, the introduction of this new business communications partnership will enable easier and more efficient working for Sunsail staff, no matter where they are in the world. With Sunsail’s operations spanning the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Europe, this is a crucial asset for the business.

Simon comments: “EE is the exactly the right business partner for Sunsail with the international model and the network of clients and offices that we have. The beauty of EE’s Business Extra plan means it is business as usual.”

EE runs the UK's biggest, fastest and most reliable mobile network, and pioneered the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 70 per cent of the UK population.

Sunsail www.sunsail.co.uk for more information.

END

How to win the Round the Island Race 2014 

June 2014

Sunsail's Top Tips for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2014

On 21 June, some 1700 yachts will participate in the world famous Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Yacht Club, Cowes.

There are plenty of reasons to take part - some, like Sir Ben Ainslie sailing on board the 100ft maxi Leopard, will be looking to break the race monohull record, whilst others may be experiencing their first ever yacht race. For many, it’s a chance to test their talents in a fun Corinthian-spirited 50 nautical mile race that is now the UK’s fourth largest participation sporting event. 

Sunsail's First 40 class will see 30 entries this year. In this close-fought, one design fleet, the racing is renowned for being extremely tight. Last year’s race saw the fastest Sunsail First 40 complete the course in 7 hours 6 minutes and 32 seconds, beating the 2012 record by around three minutes! Will a new record be set in 2014?

Sunsail Event’s Account Manager, Terry Hunt, has competed in the Race on several occasions and he shares his top tips for those taking part…

1.      Prior to race day, obtain an up to date weather forecast, and check the tides, as they really can have a big influence on tactics later on.

2.      The start plays a big part, especially in a big class start like the Sunsail First 40s. Plan your strategy for the first leg of the race, westwards along the Solent towards to The Needles. Then aim to cross the line at maximum speed as the gun goes, sailing in clear air, near to where you wanted to start.

3.      The first leg of the race - held against the backdrop of the sun rising over the Solent - makes a spectacular sight, as the boats race towards the iconic landmark of The Needles.

4.      But this is also one of the most tactical parts of the race, as boats vie for the early advantage. Be aware of the tide and ensure you stay where it gives you the best advantage. Keep an eye on your fleet and others around you to make sure that if you need to tack, you pick a quiet lane so you can minimise having to manoeuvre around slower yachts ahead.

5.      The Needles and Bembridge are key parts of the course where boats typically make the biggest gains (or losses!), so plan your tactics in advance. St Catherine’s Point can also be an issue depending on wind direction.

6.      Keep the crew driving the boat for the whole race. A good way to do this is by sharing the workload and swapping roles. Eight hours on board is a long time! Ask your crew to keep their eyes out of the boat, looking at wind pressure and direction, and to constantly feed that information back to you.

7.      With the finish line in sight, typically you pick up the foul tide on the way back into the Solent, so it doesn’t always pay to go right into Ryde and Osbourne Bay - but dependent on wind direction you can travel further than required with little benefit by hugging the shore line.

8.      Keep your crew warm, dry, hydrated and well fed – fatigued, cold, thirsty or hungry crews make mistakes and mistakes cost you time and places in the race.

9.      Race your own race – don’t get involved in needless battles with other boats. Getting tangled up in a boat-on-boat dual can slow you down and other yachts will get past you. Get into clear water and concentrate on your race, the way you planned it.

10.   Once you have crossed the finish line, it’s time to celebrate and treat your crew to a well-deserved night out!

//Some fun facts

2011 – fastest Sunsail boat – 7hrs 19mins 13secs

2012 – fastest Sunsail boat – 7hrs 9mins 28secs

2013 – fastest Sunsail boat – 7hrs 6mins 32secs

2014 - ???

Call Sunsail on 0845 322 4920 or visit www.sunsail.co.uk for more information.

END

Sunsail's five top tips to plan your sailing holiday 

April 2014

From flights, boats, route, excursions and passports, to currency, local cuisine and shopping - it can be hard to know that you're making the right decisions when it comes to choosing the perfect sailing holiday. The key to keeping costs low and hassle at a minimum is to plan ahead so that you can reap the rewards on your stress-free break. Whether you're flexible and on the lookout for last minute holiday deal, or you want the ultimate in relaxation on a flotilla, there's a lot to consider. That's why we’ve compiled a shortlist of five top tips:

Where to go: While many popular charter destinations offer a variety of sailing conditions, it’s worthwhile factoring your level of sailing ability into the equation. Consider your interests and what you want to get out of the holiday, as well as what the area can offer in terms of après-sail. It’s also worth planning out your route before you book to ensure you can do your destination justice in the time you have.

When to go: Deciding when to go is often a case of personal preference or availability for travel. Unsurprisingly, therefore, you can expect prices to be at their highest during the most popular times of year. For that reason, if you can swing it, off-season departures can represent remarkable value – but bear in mind that the ‘high’ season differs from one area to the next. While the Med is popular during the summer, the Caribbean, with its year-round temperate climate, provides a welcome escape during the winter months.

Which boat to choose: This is largely down to the needs of you and your crew – if you’re all sailing veterans then you might be more inclined to book a monohull for that more authentic experience. Alternatively, for those new to sailing, catamarans, which are generally more spacious and offer greater stability, may be preferable. Additionally, take into consideration what’s available at the time you want to travel – to avoid disappointment, be flexible and keep a few suitable options in mind. 

Packing: One of the most common mistakes made by holidaymakers is taking more than they need, and this is especially true aboard a sailing boat where storage space is limited. While it’s important to pack enough to get you through the holiday as laundry facilities are often scarce, keep in mind where you’re travelling to and what you’ll be doing (hint: swimwear might be important). Consider also using a soft duffel-type bag rather than a hard-shelled suitcase for ease of storage.

Qualifications: If you’re looking to charter without hiring a skipper, make sure you bring the relevant certificates with you to present when picking up your boat. Additionally, the company staff will show you the boat prior to departure and ask questions to ensure that your nautical knowledge is up to scratch. This also presents the ideal opportunity for you to inspect the boat yourself and ask any questions you may have, so make the most of it.

Prices start from £399 per person to Göcek in Turkey for a monohull under 41ft including flights and transfers and you’ll only need to pay for who’s going, no matter how many in your party. A yacht charter from Göcek allows you to take advantage of the superb sailing conditions of Turkey’s Lycian Coast. Passages between anchorages are generally short, allowing for plenty of time to explore or simply chill out, but there are opportunities for some exhilarating sailing too. In summer, temperatures can reach 32 C (89F), making the cooling sea breezes of the afternoon most welcome. These range from 10 to 20 knots (11 - 23Mph), and die down at night.

Price includes flights from Gatwick and transfers departing on 10 May 2014, doesn’t include insurance, fuel, transit log or any other extras.

To book, call Sunsail +44 (0)844 2732 438

Have fun! Remember, this is a holiday, so above all, enjoy yourself.

END

Why learn to sail over doing something else? 

March 2014

Apart from being active and outdoors, sailing gives you the freedom to discover new destinations at your own pace in a new environment in terms of sea, wind and weather. You’ll meet many people who have a passion for life and are highly motivated.  You can learn to sail at any age and it offers equal opportunities to all. For many people it’s a way to wind down as sailing can be both, relaxing as well as challenging, you as the crew set the boundaries. And all of this is fun, it’ll make you smile and that’s what it’s all about.

Learning to sail isn’t complicated, however, becoming an expert can take years as there’s always more to learn and to experience.

For example, when you learn to sail the instructor will teach you how to use the “sheet” to trim (adjust) the sail; the sheet is the rope that pulls the sail in closer to the boat, or lets it out. But there’s really a lot more to sail and even if you sail for 20, 30, 40 years or more, you’ll always keep improving, and never get bored. It’s a sport for a lifetime.

As one of the leading teaching establishments for sailing, Sunsail’s largest base is located on the south coast of the UK, at Port Solent and offers a full range of over 30 courses from taster sessions to the yachtmaster offshore qualification.

Sunsail’s training centres and instructors are RYA (Royal Yachting Association) qualified.

Courses are for families and individuals, for teenagers and for ladies only, cover everything from the basics of boat handling to advanced sailing skills.

BEGINNER SAILING COURSES

One-Day Taster

This course has been designed by Sunsail’s dedicated training team to introduce novices to the basics of yacht sailing and provide the confidence to take things further. It’s an ideal way to get an idea of the freedom and excitement that lies ahead.

Level 0 courses

  • RYA Start Yachting: 2 day; short introduction to sail cruising for complete beginners and requires no previous sailing experience.
  • RYA Competent Crew: 5 days; living aboard turns the complete beginner into an active crew member. After this course, with 100 miles at sea in tidal waters and 4 night hours, you are qualified to embark on any of Sunsail’s level 0 easy flotillas.

Sunsail courses in the UK start from £100 per person for the One-Day Taster course to £449 for the RYA five-day competent crew course (prices include five days living aboard).

If you have some sailing experience

  • Flotilla holiday* training provides the basic knowledge and experience needed to set sail on one of the level 0 flotillas to those with some previous boating experience. On completion, students will understand helming, berthing, reefing, general yacht handling and sailing as well as line of sight navigation.

* Easy flotillas are suited to less experienced sailors or those looking for an easy cruising week. Generally, winds are gentle and distances are short with plenty of stops. Easy Flotillas run from Vounaki in the Ionian, Göcek in Turkey and Kremik in Croatia.

Easy flotilla holidays prices for a weeks’ sailing start from £550 for a Sunsail 33i (two cabins, sleeps up to six people) in Vounaki near Lefkas, Greece, departing on 27 April 2014. The price includes a fully equipped cruising yacht with all necessary equipment, linen and towels, starter pack, punch party, snorkeling equipment, insurance as well as 24 hour support of the Sunsail lead crew. Flights and transfers can be arranged individually.

A Vounaki flotilla holiday, in Greece’s southern Ionian Sea, is an ideal choice for families with children, couples, or a skipper with a less experienced crew can enjoy the easy sailing. Mainly line-of-sight sailing in protected waters makes for the ultimate in relaxing flotilla sailing.

With a huge variety of picturesque anchorages such as Abelike Bay to choose from and Cephalonia, location of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin to visit, flotilla sailing here has plenty to offer.

Sunsail also offer a variety of RYA training courses in

  • Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Club Vounaki, Greece
  • Dalmatian Islands, Croatia
  • Whitsundays, Australia

Call 0845 322 4920 or visit www.sunsail.co.uk for more information.

END

Parmaris equips Sunsail 

March 2014

Parmaris, the UK based leading manufacturer of lifejackets has signed a contract with Sunsail to supply a total of 250 Parmaris Raider 190N Lifejackets to Sunsail’s UK fleet

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New Green Guide for charter companies 

February 2014

The Green Blue (TGB), has published a new Green Guide for Boat Charter companies with a call to ‘go green’ ahead of the 2014 season. The Guide features a case study focusing on Sunsail highlighting best practice showing other charter companies how easy good marine stewardship can be.

Jackie McLean, Sunsail’s UK Operations Manager said “We started to look at the environmental performance of our Port Solent operation and our fleet of F40’s back in 2008 and with The Green Blue’s help we have made significant progress.”

“Our staff and skippers are now fully engaged and trained to be as environmentally responsible as possible. It gives our customers the opportunity to enhance their experience on the water and I hope, these good environmental habits will stay with them the next time they take to the water. We’re delighted to be able to share our experience within this new guide as it’s in the interest of the sector as a whole and to protect our waters.”

The Guide provides boat charter companies with a range of quick environmental wins as well as longer term initiatives to make their businesses more sustainable. 

The natural elements are a key selling point for charter companies which make looking after these assets even more important for maintained growth and customer satisfaction. Currently the UK marine tourism industry is worth over £2 billion and the boat charter sector is a key contributor.

Jane Swan, TGB Project Manager said “Environmental initiatives have never been so easy to implement and we hope that our new guide will prompt more charter companies to take the first steps to being greener both on and off the water. Small changes will not only make the business more efficient but can often save costs too.”

The Green Blue is the environment initiative of the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) and the BMF (British Marine Federation). The Green Guide for Charter Companies is the latest addition to The Green Blue’s suite of handy guides

To find out more about sustainable boating visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk

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Choose Sunsail

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Destinations worldwide
14
Flotilla routes
48
Types of yachts
40 yrs
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