If I were to do a quick survey of the folks at Ahoy!, asking them “What do you like best about being involved with the company?” I believe that their answers would be pretty unanimous. They will probably all reply with a reference to the amazing privilege of being able to combine work with pleasure and to be out on the water quite often.
Yes, many of the days since I’ve been involved with Ahoy! are interesting, exciting and normally great fun. But this past week took the cake, or shall we say, “dropped the anchor” and surpassed all!
I was fortunate enough to spend the last exciting fun-filled week participating in the Aegean600 Regatta onboard my Ahoy! sponsored “Lataka-BE” a 40-foot racing yacht! It was an incredible and inspiring week full of powerful competition, excitement and endless challenge.
Sailors from around the world came to compete in the second edition of this well-known race, which is sure to become one of the top challenging international offshore races. We saw flags from many corners of the earth. However our Lataka-BE - the one with the bright purple spinnaker and the great big Ahoy! logo on the mainsail and the Ahoy mascot, Pelican Pete on the jib, was the only boat in this year’s competition to be manned by an all-Israeli crew.
In addition, it was a particularly tremendous opportunity to see our Ahoy! sponsored boat in action. I’m proud to be one of the founding fathers of Ahoy!, one of the guys that came up with the idea to start Ahoy!. Though I don’t actually work at Ahoy!, I live, breathe and sleep what goes on with this amazing Insurtech company!
As a seasoned competitive sailor, I’ve participated in many international competitions, but like most of the other participants in this regatta, we were amazed by the extreme conditions out at sea, coming from the well-known Meltemi wind and the shifting conditions around the island (blowing from 4 -7 Beaufort).
Onboard we were 5 sailors that came to be like brothers for four and a half long, exciting, memorable days. Four of us are in our fifties and one is in his thirties. But while we were out at sea, it wasn’t about age nor experience, it was all about working as a team, a brotherhood.
Meeting the powerful winds out at sea, catching waves at 15 knots speed, or tacking for two days in front of 35 knots gusts, there were times that we thought about quitting, but the team continually pulled together through thick and thin along this 603 miles (well, actually 653 miles for us, due to headwinds) regatta.
Of course, in such wind conditions, we also experienced some malfunctions like broken halyards, some rough broaches, and more, but we stuck it out and came on top of the challenges.
We also experienced beautiful scenes out at sea, including breathtaking sunrise and sunset views over the magnificent Greek islands, especially at the Santorini Passage! Those pictures will remain forever engraved in our hearts and memories!
I'm often asked “what did I take away from this experience?” Well, firstly, I can’t describe how proud I was to be carrying the Ahoy! logo and the Safe Navigation technology. This ensured peace of mind throughout the regatta. So, to be one of the Ahoy! founders and now out in this fierce competition - this extreme regatta, representing the company that I helped to found….wow, it doesn’t get any better than that.
What other messages do I want to add, now as my sore muscles are starting to relax, and I’m starting to get caught up on 5 days of barely sleeping (and even then always with one eye open…)?
First of all - if you have a Bucket List (or in my case an “Offshore Bucket List”), work on it, go for it! If there’s something you want to do, do it! The fun and pride of accomplishments and success is worth every effort. And in our case, the brotherhood and the teamwork is worth every bit of hardship. Don’t give up, reach for your dreams.
I want to thank my team members for going through this amazing experience together. Thanks to Ariye, Guy, Shai and Ohad! Together we made it all happen!
And yes, if another question is crossing your mind: “Will you do it again?”... My answer is a most resounding “YES, ABSOLUTELY”! Can’t wait!