The 2011 Blue Water Rally finally came to its inevitable conclusion as the remaining 20 participating yachts were recently loaded onto a specially-designed boat carrier in Salalah and shipped in convoy under a military escort to Mamaris, Turkey.
Following the hijacking of the participating SV Quest in a fatal encounter with pirates this February, the remaining yachts of the rally made their way to Salalah, where the majority opted to stop the round the world adventure they had been participating in for around two years.
One of the yachts, the SV Spirit of Nina, decided to continue sailing independently on the route. The operation was kept from the media for security reasons, with the yachts arriving at their final destination in Turkey on June 9.
A spokesperson for Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT), the company hired to transport the yachts from Salalah, said that the loading operation of the 20 boats went off smoothly. DYT used the MV Palmerton, owned by the Danish firm Combi Lift, for the transfer. “After loading, the MV Palmerton waited in anchorage for a convoy, and was escorted by a navy vessel for added safety,” said the spokesperson.
The operators of the Blue Water Rally confirmed that the yachts had been transported, and gave further insights into the reasons behind the April decision to cancel the event.
A military anti-piracy official’s disclosure on the hijacking of the Danish-crewed SV ING near Yemen in February cemented the decision to cancel the rally, according to Chris Mounsey, managing director of Blue Water Rallies Limited. “It was this that finally tipped the balance, with all crews bar one deciding that they would ship their yachts back to the Mediterranean. We had an official in Salalah to facilitate the activities at the time,” Mounsey said.