First sailors arrive for Sail Maldives yacht rally

Special welcome laid on for British and German crew

With just one month to go to the inaugural Sail Maldives yacht rally, the first sailors have arrived in the Maldives!

The crew of British and Germans arrived on Thursday (January 26) via Cochin, India, and have reported that the weather was good for a safe passage. The rally was postponed from its previously scheduled date until February 25 for safety reasons due to cyclones off the coast of Sri Lanka, which have dissipated.

The multihull is captained by Briton, George Calder, assisted by his family and friends, who are all in the Maldives for the first time. They were presented with a special gift by Sail Maldives organiser, Adeel Ahmed, on arrival at Uligamu island in Haa Alif Atoll.

Adeel said: “We were really pleased to give our first participants a friendly Maldivian welcome and are looking forward to meeting many more over the coming weeks.”

Adeel also presented the crew with welcome coconut drinks, gave them a tour of Uligamu and introduced them to the island officials. This reflects the spirit of Sail Maldives, which showcases the fascinating cultural aspects of the beautiful archipelago such as traditional Maldivian drumming as well as offering a host of free activities including snorkelling and water-sports.

Mr Calder’s daughter, Mairi said: “We are happy to be in the Maldives and are really looking forward to Sail Maldives 2017!  We arrived on the 26th from Langkawi, Malaysia after a good 11-day passage. Everything went smoothly and we made good time”.

“We arrived to meet Assad and his colleagues who have been tremendously hospitable. The clearance was quick and hassle-free and we were even brought a bouquet of frangipanis and fresh coconuts”.

“In the past three days, we have enjoyed a fish BBQ hosted by the local mayor, visited the nearest resort, learnt how to fish, climb a coconut tree and swam with dolphins and manta rays. We are looking forward to meeting everyone and enjoying what promises to be an amazing rally”.

Sail Maldives’ Yachting Agent, Assad Mohamed, added: “The Calder family is already having a wonderful time and everyone on-board is very excited to be here”.

“Our priority is providing a quality service, and no-one will be disappointed by the experience, now that a clear passage to the Maldives has opened up.”

Uligamu is the starting point of the rally, which proceeds south for 60 days, crossing the equator and eventually concluding in Addu Atoll. Participants can join at any point along the way.

Many more sailors are now preparing to embark on the journey to the Sail Maldives rally via India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, with a large number anticipated from Phuket.

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