Boating in Canada News

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9 August 2016

Canadian Chris Fornier sailing non-stop, alone, around the globe

Chris Fornier 2016
Ottawa sailor Chris Fornier plans to be the first Canadian-born sailor to sail non-stop, alone, around the world - the ultimate survival test. He estimates it will take 300 days or a year to sail from Halifax south in the Atlantic Ocean on  the traditional Clipper Route around Cape Hope (Africa), east past Cape Leeuwin (Australia) and Cape Horn (South America), then north to Halifax. 3 previous attempts by Canadians resulted in 2 damaged boats and the disappearance of Gerry Roufs in a 1997 race.

Little Sark, a 30-foot sailboat, is equipped with solar panels, wind generator, 500 litres of water in 20-litre cans, 200 pounds of food, a solar still, sextant, an electric motor and generator. An inflatable kayak equipped with sail and rudder is for emergency use. Chris also has an e-reader, lots of music, and a 360-degree camera with binaural mic to document the trip in real time. 

Chris has sailed since he was 12 and has his Yachtmaster licence. With a bit of humour, his friends gave him a Wilson volleyball to take along. Follow his voyage online at News (Aug.9, 2016)CFRA News (Aug.9, 2016)

14 April 2016

Mike Ranta's 2nd Paddle across Canada 2016

Mike Ranta with his trusty dog Spitzii is paddling his way across Canada - again!  He is already the first person to cross North American solo, by canoe, in one season in 2014. He wants to be the first person to do it twice, and also to set a speed record - to paddle and portage longer, faster and further than any person in history.

On April 1, 2016, he and his dog Spitzii left the Pacific Ocean in Steveston, BC and heading up the Frazer River heading for The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #78 on the Atlantic coast in Dominion Beach, Cape Breton before winter. Mike has invited Veterans to come and sign the canoe to show his appreciation.

Live map
Facebook  Mike Ranta's Paddle
Twitter  @mikeranta2016
Oct/2014 Boating in Canada blog:  Mike Ranta's Paddle across Canada

5 January 2016

Canadian John Beeden only rower to cross Pacific

John Beeden, 53, of Burlington, Ontario, has just completed the first ever solo Pacific Ocean crossing in a 6-metre row boat called Socks II.  He left San Francisco and  arrived in Cairns, Australia December 27, 2015, after 209 days and 11,300-kilometres at sea.  []

A Britain-based team built the 2,500-pound boat of closed-cell foam, kevlar and fibreglass with two reinforced bulkheads. The boat had watertight storage compartments, electronics, “water maker”, navigation and communications equipment, satellite phone, satellite e-mail and VHF radio. [Blog:]

This is not Beeden’s first ocean crossing: He previously rowed from the Canary Islands to Barbados in 2011 in 53 days - second fastest time - then went looking for a bigger challenge.

10 September 2015

Diane Reid starts the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Diane Reid
Toronto Skipper Diane Reid and her crew have started on the tenth edition of the famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race on Sunday August 30, 2015 - the longest and toughest ocean endurance challenge on the planet. 12 boats will sail 40,000 nautical miles in 8 "legs" starting and ending in London, England over the next year to compete for total points.

Diane Reid is the first female Canadian skipper in the 19-year history of the race. She leads the ClipperTelemed+, a Canadian boat and team, but with a mix of nationalities on board. You can follow the race live at

On September 5, 2015, crew member Andy Ashman, 49, aboard IchorCoal off Portugal suffered a tragic fatal accident while reefing a sail. The boat rejoined the race September 8.   Clipper News Sept. 8, 2015

Diane Reed resigned as skipper for personal reasons and left the race in Cape Town, South Africa. Oct. 24, 2015

Eric Holden was named Canada's Top Sailor after being Canada's first skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race on the 70ft yacht Henri Lloyd - and winning.

14 February 2015

Eric Holden named Canada's Top Sailor

As Canada's first skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race, Eric Holden (35) led a crew of 55 amateur sailors around the world on the 70ft yacht Henri Lloyd  – and won first place in one of the most challenging races in the world.  Sail Canada and Rolex Canada chose him as 2014 Rolex Sailor of the Year. Holden had already been named Sailor of the Month three times by Sail Canada. Holden and his five Canadian crew members – Fiona Garforth-Bles, James Dick, Michael Jauncey, Morgen Watson, Phil Driver – were jointly awarded the Gerry Roufs Trophy for offshore racing.

Eric has been a member of the Canadian Sailing Team for 5 years, and was on the first Canadian team to win the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race in a century.

Eric Holden plans to race solo, non-stop, and unassisted around the world in the 2016 Vendee Globe. He will be the first Canadian to tackle this gruelling race held every four years. He will use "O Canada9" a 60-ft sailboat built in 2008 originally called "Spirit of Canada".

  Clipper Round the World Race won by Canadian
  2014 Rolex Sailor of the Year - Eric Holden
  Top Canadian Sailor will Race around the World