The story goes that Chris and Vania Zammit, members of Carlingford Lough Yacht Club, advertised their 420 sailing dinghy for sale on Gumtree and got a response from Japan. Chris said “I thought it was a hoax at first until I received the deposit.” But the deal was completed and the 420 was taken to Donaghadee for launching. The return trip was completed in one day and they only capsized once! Unable to auction the boat for charity, the sailors have donated the boat to Carlingford Lough Yacht Club, so it is back where it started, only with a few more exciting sea miles on the clock.
Seven members of the Japanese Explorers’ Club, Yuka Kobayashi, Motoko Sato, Haruka Yoshimori. Yoshitaka Suzuki, Kiyotaka Terada, Yoshiro Yamanoha and Team Leader Kichiemon Nakagawa, set themselves a challenge of sailing a 14 foot dinghy from Donaghadee, Co Down to Portpatrick in Scotland and back, having rotated crews and successfully completed the voyage in 14 hours and 19 minutes. The Explorers’ Club is “…a community for gentlemen and ladies who aim at going beyond their limits, aiming upwards and honouring those who think that every second should be pleasant while caring for others…”. This voyage was the last one of seven such trips (the Oceans 7 Project) to raise interest in protection of the oceans, including the Dover Strait, Tsugaru Strait in Japan, Strait of Gibraltar, Cook Strait in New Zealand, Catalina Strait in California and the Moloka’i Strait in Hawaii.Kieran Cranley, Carlingford Lough Yacht Club Hon Secretary presents the Japanese sailors with mementoes and a Club burgee. Chris and Vania Zammit with the intrepid voyagers and the 420 dinghy in the foreground
This crossing of the North Channel completes the Explorers Club’s Oceans 7 project, with all the crossings as in the famous marathon swimming challenge, Oceans Seven.