After 160 hours of intense navigation – and many maneuvers in the last two days of the North Atlantic – the VOR70 Mirpuri Foundation, led by the Portuguese skipper Paulo Mirpuri, reached the port of Barbados in the early hours of this Sunday morning.

“My debut on an ocean crossing taught me a lot, especially the importance of the spirit and union of the crew on board and also how the ocean shows us the need to be patient.”, said Paulo Mirpuri.

Based on values dear to the Mirpuri Foundation – courage, ethics, team spirit, innovation, technology and professionalism – skipper Paulo Mirpuri confirmed that this first ocean crossing served as a launching base for the participation of a Portuguese crew in an important sailing competition, whose selected sailors will be the ambassadors of the Mirpuri Foundation, bringing the message “for a better world” to the four corners of the world.

“To be on board a racing yacht – small and fragile when compared to the vastness of the ocean – helps us to become aware that it is truly possible to fulfil our dream of fighting to make this world better for future generations.”, said Paulo Mirpuri emphasizing the importance that this project has under the Save the Ocean Program, recently launched by the Mirpuri Foundation.

“Our crew, although professional, had not yet sailed together before, but the team spirit built up pretty quickly and together we were able to cope with complex sailing maneuvers, especially when the winds were blowing hard at 40 knots and the waves were  8 meters high for two days in a row. “, detailed Paulo Mirpuri.

A complex ocean route

The last two days of voyage were more complex due to the instability of the trade winds and the agitation of the sea – an effect of the bad weather that shacked Europe in the last days. The team had to do a series of jibes to adjust the direct course to Barbados, balancing the variation of force and direction of the winds and the state of the sea.

“The first days of sailing since the start in Cape Verde were very demanding for the team because we faced winds of almost 40 knots and big seas and all crew members performed very well. This also allowed us to explore the performance of the VOR 70 sailboat that registered almost 500 miles in 24 hours and reached speeds up to 30 knots.” said the Portuguese skipper as he arrived at Shallow Draft, the only port area in Bridgetown, capital of Barbados, with draft for a VOR70 sailing boat that has 21 meters of length and draft of 4,5 meters, due to the pivoting keel equipped with bulb.

The only technical incidents aboard the Mirpuri Foundation were a sail (A 4) ripped on the first day of navigation – which the skipper confessed was caused by the team’s pushing to increase the boat’s performance – and the breaking of a platte on the main sail two days ago. Some crew members presented slight health complaints – such as burns and a nail infection – and the skipper Paulo Mirpuri, who is also a physician, handled these issues efficiently.

The crew desembarked in Shallow Draught for customs procedures, showing no trace of the hard work the last two days on board Mirpuri Foundation sailboat, with constant waves of 8 meters high and unstable winds between 12 and 16 knots.

Enrico Civello, crew manager, said that this ocean crossing served as a lesson to all. “We had strong wind and big seas, which provided an exciting experience for the guests on board. The trip was good, the power of the boat is evident and we always sailed safely. We were so well positioned in the trade winds that we traveled 1,200 miles on the same tack (representing more than half of the 2,100-mile route from Cape Verde to Barbados).

“The VOR 70 is very sensitive, capable of accelerating or decelerating at the slightest trimming of the sails, daggerboards,  canting keel and water ballasts as well as the precision at the rudder. The organization of the watchs on deck worked very well, with 6 hours of work during the day and 4 hours at night, with the crew divided into two groups. “

Official sponsors:

Mirpuri Foundation – main sponsor
Hi Fly

Photos by Jorge Leal, David Branigan and Giulio Canale

Communications Officer – Nysse Arruda (