The crew of the sailing boat VOR70  Mirpuri Foundation finalizes today the preparations at the port of Mindelo, S. Vicente Island, Cape Verde, for the the start of the transatlantic expedition to Barbados, in the Caribbean.

With the weather forecast indicating a good flow of the trade winds right offshore S. Vicente Island, the crew is looking forward for a fast downwind run of 2.000 miles straight to Barbados.

“It is a typical trade winds cenario, with a good flow of winds averaging 20 to 25 knots. The only major tactical decision will be how far south we can go as to approach Barbados from east or southeast”, said Johannes Schwarz, project manager of these first sailing project organized by Mirpuri Foundation. 

This will allow the Mirpuri Foundation’s boat to sail at a good speed and with the most effective downwind point of sail, which means that the crossing could be completed requiring just a few sailing manoeuvres (gybing).

The Professional crew onboard will be made up of a mix of experienced offshore sailors and some novices that will do the first Atlantic crossing in their sailing carriers, as the Portuguese skipper Paulo Mirpuri and his guests. 

For the Italian sailor Enrico Civello, crew manager, helmsman and maintenance specialist, this is going to be his third Atlantic crossing and he counts more than 50,000 miles travelled on board sailing yachts.  

Fresh from crossing the South Atlantic ocean is the Polish sailor Filip Pietrzak, who had just finish the Cape 2 Rio Race a week ago and arrived today at Mindelo to take his place as bowman on board Mirpuri Foundation boat, bringing a wealth of offshore sailing experience having been a crew member twice at Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. Along with him came also the professional Dutch sailor Gerwin Jansen, experienced trimmer and watch leader (two-time Dutch and world champion at the Melges 24 Class), sailmaker and crew member at international races as Rolex Middle Sea Race and Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

The Italian sailor Julio Canale also joined the crew in Cape Verde as a regular crew member and onboard reporter. He is going to one of the novices to cross the Atlantic, besides having such a long sailing carrier as a cruising sailor since his young age up to crew member at classic races as Barcolana, in Trieste, Italy and a variety of routes on the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea. 

Another Italian sailor on board will be Luca Salerno, a versatile sailor, with extensive experience on board monohulls and multihulls, as well as co-manager of sailing projects, such as Shuttle 31, and VOR70 Green Dragon itself. 

Completing the professional crew is the austrian owner of VOR70 Green Dragon Johannes Schwarz, counting more than 160,000 nautical miles of offshore sailing. 

The official program for the day of the start is full of activities including, visit of local authorities on board the boat, a Press Conference and presentation of a unpublished video, a Catholic Mass and blessing of the crew at S. Vicente Church followed by a Street parade to the boat, with dancers and drummers and blessing of the boat, before the depart schedule at 15:30h. 


Official sponsors of the transatlantic crossing:

Mirpuri Foundation – main sponsor

Hi Fly






Photos by Jorge Leal

Communication Officer – Nysse Arruda (