A report of a sailing trip from Sneek (the Netherlands) to Nieuwpoort (Belgium) with 2 Airas, 2 male ‘oldies’ and 6 young ladies, described by Jan Smekens in Varen Magazine.
“The Sport Vlaanderen sailing school harbor channel Nieuwpoort has been using the well-known Cigognes for decades as a seaworthy training boat for the degree of sailing at sea, ‘evolution 1’. But the ravages of time grind on. The Cigognes were not flashy enough, rotten to the keel, the woodworking machine was history, some more ‘umbrella politics’ so yes, we had to get a different type of boat. Planning to use a caravelle with a weighted keel as a (cheap) alternative was not according to the standards. Then we had to look for something that did meet the standards. And as predicted, this type nearly sank on flattening.
And then came the Aira, a jewel on the water. First the test phase, then a few weeks in the sailing camps and then decide to buy 5 Airas. But these yachts had to come from Sneek (Friesland) to Nieuwpoort. Should we make it a sailing internship (18+)? Or sail over 2 with teachers in June? The latter idea soon took shape with 6 instructors (2 male oldies and 6 charming young ladies) we would bring the Airas from Sneek via Hegermeer, IJsselmeer, the North Sea Canal, IJmuiden, North Sea to Nieuwpoort. An alternative is the ‘Staande Mast Route’, but that would take too long. This is understandable with a yacht of something over 6 meters, without a closed cabin. That means staying overnight in tents, cooking on camping gas fires, so back to basics. (…)”
Read the entire article (in Dutch) from Varen Magazine by viewing the images.