Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clew Ring New Generic

Yassine to attempt 150nm Laser sail - once his mast is fixed

by Nancy Knudsen on 23 Dec 2012
Yassine is set to go, but his mast is broken .. .
Last week we told how Andrew Lewis sailed a Laser from Tobago to Trinidad, a route which took him through open ocean and a distance of 50 nm. (See http://www.sail-world.com/Cruising/international/Tobago-to-Trinidad-in-a-14ft-Laser/104692!story) Now there's a Moroccan sailor, Yassine Darkaoui, who wants to sail a 150nm course from Phuket, round the island of Ko Ta Ru Tao and back to Phuket. There's just one problem - his mast is broken.

Andrew was an Olympian Laser sailor, and Yassine, 34, is no stranger to Lasers either. A science and IT graduate, he has represented Morocco at several World Laser Sailing Championships, and is a qualified sail trainer with his home club, the Royal Yacht Club of Tangier.

Yassine is attempting to beat the 2009 record held by Olympic bronze medalist, Australian Michael Blackburn, who sailed a Laser dinghy 117 nautical miles across Bass Strait (between the Australian mainland and Tasmania) in 13 hours.

The purpose of the sail, apart from his personal challenge, is to draw attention to the evils of illegal drug-taking. This is a goal dear to his heart, owing to an earlier period in his life in Morocco, when he fell victim to drug-taking himself.

He says that he now wants to warn children in Phuket about the dangers of drug addiction and has recently shared his life experiences at HeadStart school, where he gave a brutally honest talk about drugs and their effects to year 9 and 10 students.

'The solution is not to put the addict in prison, the solution is to teach the young people that there are other ways to feel high,' said Yassine.

The other way to ‘feel high’ for Yassine is sailing, and the personal challenge he is about to embark on, he says, will be the most demanding sailing experience of his life.

He is currently training in Phuket for the maraton sail. 'Navigation at night is difficult,' he says, 'so I must sail with my feelings - but at night sailing is like flying, with both sky and water black, so I feel like I am flying.'

The other issue is stamina for the long course. 'I get some pain in the knees after 8 hours of sailing, so I have found it is good to rest for a few minutes every 6-8 hours.'

An unfortunate incident a few weeks ago set his program back. 'I broke the mast sailing in the north of Phuket, near Maiko. It is a very dangerous area with big waves and a very very dangerous and strong current. After the dismasting the waves took me to the beach. In trying to save the boat in the high surf, I broke a tooth and had two muscular tears.'

While Yassine has some sponsors for his challenge, they do not cover repairs, so Yassine is trying to raise the $700, a fortune in Thailand, to replace his mast.

'As soon as I have the mast replaced, I will plan the sail attempt after about two weeks.' In the meantime, he follows a careful diet and undergoes a intense training schedule with a fitness trainer.

You can follow Yassine Darkaoui on his www.http://andamanlaserchallenge.blogspot.com.au/!website, or contact him at totemtech [at] gmail.com.

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug