E.G . Van de Stadt has a reputation for designing fast and sea worthy yachts and Blue Clipper was no exception, she was easily driven, close winded and comfortable. It’s only many years after she was sold and with the experience sailing many other boats that I realise how good and forgiving a boat she was.
What made her special is that in 1997/8 she carried Erica and I safely for ten thousand miles, sailing from Portsmouth, England, across the Bay of Biscay to Spain and Portugal, out into the Atlantic to Madeira and the Canary Islands, then south again to The Gambia in West Africa before crossing the Atlantic to arrive in Barbados. Our cruise in the “islands,” took us south to Trinidad and then north visiting most of the Antilles; the Windward and Leeward Islands, before returning back across the Atlantic, stopping at the Azores and finally returning to England.
Blue Clipper was a bit small, certainly compared to a modern 34 yachts, but she coped with light winds, huge ocean swells, what might have been pirates, gales and a frisky whale. She took us out of our comfort zone, stretched us as sailors and individuals, she will always have a place in our hearts.