Tahiti Yacht Rally 2017 Reviews
Sitting at Fa'a'ā International Airport on our way home from the Tahiti Yacht Rally, we got into a discussion about the trip (as you do) with two of the participants from the rally group; Peter and Jenny. Having missed my calling as a journalist I decided to make the most of this great chat and asked Peter and Jenny if I could interview them. We had a few hours to spare anyway, so why not!
T: So is racing yachts on your holidays for you?
P and J: Our crew was pretty competitive and we really enjoyed the low key racing. Our catamaran, a Catana 55, with square top main, two rolling head sails and retractable dagger boards was pretty fast. The wind was consistently in the high teens and low 20’s and boat speeds in the 10’s and 11’s were not uncommon.
The races were a good mix of blue water sailing between islands and smooth water sailing in the mostly, deep lagoons.
The best race was around the island of Taha’a, basically a full circle inside the lagoon on flat water followed by that great dinner at the exclusive Taha’a Island Resort and Spa. Plus we won the race by 2 seconds on the water, so we were happy.
T: How was the organization of the rally? No pressure here, be honest!
P and J: The organization of the event was faultless, except for some rain that you failed to put in the brochure!
Your local knowledge took us to places and restaurants that we just wouldn’t have found on our own and the places that Frederic (the groups local guide and yacht technician) took us added so much to the experience. We really loved the traditional Polynesian dinners and entertainment that you included after each race day.
T: Did you feel that you had the support and technical back up along the way?
P and J: The technical support offered by Frederic from the charter company was exemplary. At one stage a pin sheared in our steering system and we were rudderless for a short time, which in 25 knots of wind was a bit scary! However Frederic was able to fix this reasonably quickly.
T: Having chartered bareboat yachts with us before and now having joined a Yacht Rally, what are your thoughts on the two options?
P and J: The social interaction between the crews was something that attracted us to the rally, it’s something that you just don’t get on a bareboat charter. Of course you can chat to locals and other charterers in ports when bareboating, there will always be that comradery when sailing. But the interaction was just so readily available on the rally and we could join in as much or as little as we wanted which was reassuring.
Navigation around Tahiti is also not that simple but we found the daily briefings with you both and the input from Frederic kept us all out of trouble. Frederic guided us to a number of “secret” anchorages and snorkeling spots which was just amazing. The best was probably swimming with the manta rays and eagle rays in the Bora Bora lagoon.
T: Any last words before we board this plane?
P and J: In all honesty we could not have had the experience we had in Tahiti if it weren’t for the rally. We had the freedom to explore on our own when we wanted and the support from Mariner when we needed it.
Peter and fellow crew member Bruce racing
One of the many beautiful beaches in Taha'a
Diving with manta and eagle rays in Bora Bora