by Don McIntyre
One of Australia’s great sailors and adventurers, Don McIntyre, is on the hunt for youth sailors who dare to dream of one day sailing around the world. With mentoring from young solo sailor Jessica Watson, together they hope to make that dream come true.
The 10.6meter yacht “Betty” which Don McIntyre hopes a young crew will soon sail around the world, on a “Voyage of Imagination”
McIntyre, who supplied the boat and kick started Watson’s own successful campaign, to be the youngest person to sail solo and non-stop around the world, at 16, now hopes to do it again, but with a twist! He has just purchased a world class 10.5mtr Ocean voyaging yacht for this adventure, with the keys in the ignition and will give those keys to the first one or two sailors, who he believes, could safely circumnavigating the globe, with stopovers.
'This is not about records, or firsts, but all about adventure and real life, through a 'Voyage of Imagination' said Don McIntyre, 'WOW! here’s a chance for competent young sailors, with passion, to test themselves, explore new horizons, engage the natural world and maybe even influence and inspire others in the process'
Potential candidates need to be at least 16 and no older than 21, on 2nd May, 2015, when the voyage sets out from Sydney. With the freedom to stop anywhere and set their own course during the west-about 25,000 mile circumnavigation, they will experience new cultures and explore isolated anchorages. Departing Australia via Darwin, exotic ports may include, Cocos, Mauritius, Cape Town, St Helena, Caribbean, Panama Canal, Galapagos, Marquesas, Tahiti ,Tonga and Fiji, before returning to Sydney 19 months later, in November 2016.
McIntyre is excited about Watson assisting the selected crew. Watson is currently studying Media and Communications and will mentor the crew on all aspects of the voyage.
Don McIntyre in 2009 presenting a 15 year old Jessica Watson with the yacht she would ultimately sail solo around the world.
'I really hope there’s some cool young people out there who realise what an amazing opportunity this is! ' said Jessica Watson ' They don’t need to be racing sailors, just sailors dedicated enough to put the preparation and energy in.'
McIntyre, who circumnavigated the world Solo in the 1990 BOC Challenge Yacht Race, thought up the idea for this new 'Youth' adventure, as a way to celebrate his 60th Birthday next year. Over the past 25 years, he has supported many solo sailors and young adventures. In 2012 he was presented with the Australian Geographic Society’s highest honour, a gold medal for a 'Life Time of Adventure', only the 12th time it had ever been awarded.
Currently based in the Kingdom of Tonga searching for Spanish Galleons and exploring 18th century wrecks, McIntyre believes that any activity with an unknown outcome, is the true definition of Adventure.
'Riding a bike for the first time, stepping into your first Kayak, or even running your first small business are all adventures' said Don McIntyre, ' unfortunately society and parents often wrap kids in cotton wool, categorises them and pushes them to be normal. They need freedom to explore and take risks. Adventuring is life’s best educator.'
Long-time adventure partner and friend Margie McIntyre will manage the project, overseeing logistics and acting as 'Expedition Headquarters' during the voyage, maintaining a link to the young sailors.
'This could be a lot of fun' said Margie McIntyre ' It has the potential to be a life changing experience, so I hope we get a couple of real characters!'
This 'Voyage of Imagination' will be covered comprehensively on the web, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Applications are now open for young sailors, for more details visit website . The official launch of this 'Voyage of Imagination' will be held at a media briefing, then lunch, at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Pittwater, on October 10th 2014.