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MED EXTREME - arrived to Israel

The extraordinary venture of sailing with a small 6 meters catamaran (day boat) over the open sea between Cyprus to Israel, distance of 180 miles, come to an happy ending when the fleet of 8 catamarans entered into Tel Aviv Marina on 7/9/01 at 13:45 Hrs after 25 Hrs and 45 minutes at sea.

The catamaran crews have been training for several month, towards the mission for special long distance sailing and survival techniques. They were equipped specially for the venture with special equipment according to The Marine Authorities, such as: Strobo light for night sailing, GPS for navigation and VHF for communication. All the rigging was doubled and a special waterproof sack was provided, containing water, food, spare parts, etc.

On Thursday 6/9/2001 12:00 Hrs, after a farewell party organized by Mr. Totos The chairman of Cyprus Sailing Association and Mr. Papa Vasily, the eternal Israeli friend, the fleet of 8 catamarans set out from Marina Limasol. The weather forecast as predicted by the weather specialist Mr. Beni Metro, realized perfectly and the fleet enjoyed a good weather with 15-20 knots of westerly wind and slight to moderate sea.

In spite of the thorough preparations and training few incidents accrue under way: During the night two catamarans capsized but recovered with the assistance of the stand by motor yacht "Nautilus". Later one of the catamarans suffered a mechanical failure: the front suspension beam between the hulls which is holding also the forward shroud - broke! Luckily the mast did not come down and the crew managed to reinforce the beam with rope and 2 aluminum oars. The catamaran continued sailing as before and arrived to Tel Aviv with the fleet.

The exhausted crews, with a smile on their faces reflecting the fulfillment of an achievement responded with only one word: "Difficult !"


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