9,000 miles, two Atlantic crossings and one amazing experience is how Boatshed CEO Neil Chapman reflects on the past seven months as the Supertaff crew step onto dry land in Lagos.

In the space of seven months we’ve sailed down to the Canaries from the UK, joined the westbound Atlantic Rally for Cruisers across to the Caribbean – where we spent the winter season – and then sailed back to Europe with the ARC via Bermuda and the Azores.

Most of the trip has been a double-handed crew with myself and Curt Mundy of Boatshed Ireland – but we had the pleasure of welcoming Curt’s niece Shea on board for the eastbound legs. Always good to have another pair of hands, especially when situations demand maximum focus.

It’s all about the experience

A good example of this was when we were passing Cape St Vincent and had to cross a 25-mile wide marine ‘super highway’ with six lanes of shipping traffic. Using AIS makes the task easier than it used to be as it takes out the guesswork. But when you have a 398-metre container ship doing 17 knots – and you are crossing in front of her with a clearance of just over a mile – it can make things even more exciting!

Overall, the Atlantic rally challenge has been a fantastic experience for me. And a lot of people have been asking me why, as an experienced sailor, I would want to take part in the ARC?

Aside from the actual sailing, for me it’s the social and camaraderie aspects of the event and meeting lots of new people. Many are new to the ARC and making a life-changing choice to do something like this. The fact that an amazing bunch of people – all of whom are super-enthusiastic about doing the same thing – come together to create and share life-long memories is what makes it so special.

One of the reasons that makes this happen is the tremendous support that goes into an event like this. None of this would be possible without the involvement of the World Cruising Club for the ARC. The organization throughout has been faultless.

Would I do it all again? It’s very tempting! But we have a few leaks – among other things – to attend to first. And of course, there’s a good wind at the moment that could sail us back to England for us to keep Supertaff there for a season. We shall see!

Are you ready for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. Find out more here