Outremer Week Spring 22 was no exception. Our bi-annual event united once again almost a hundred Outremer owners from all around the world for a week of intensive training, followed by a weekend of sailing. The difference was that for the first time we decided to make Nikki Henderson, Ladies Only coach for the Outremer Academy, our voice for this edition. She took over Outremer’s Instagram account, interviewed owners at the end of the day to gather their own personal point of view and summed up her experience on paper. Read about it below!

 

On the surface, the bi-annual* ‘Outremer Week’ consists of 5 days of training. This edition was followed by the Outremer Cup, 3 days of friendly racing. 

There was a clear theme to the week: independence. Specifically: the importance of learning, so that everyone can look after themselves, their boat, and their crew whilst blue water sailing. The new owners each had booked into 1 class per day and could choose to learn in either English or French. Participation in every class was full: on the water sailing; maneuvers in port; diesel engine maintenance; marine electronics maintenance; weather and meteorology; an in depth two-day medical course – these were just some of the wide range of options available.

 

Akin to a ‘freshers week’ at University, life beyond the classroom was just as important. The three-hour aperitif every evening, as well as a beach party, and cocktail evening were buzzing social scenes. Every evening, conversations opened with “so what boat are you buying?”, followed with “what course did you do today?”, and almost always included “what’s your plan with the boat?”. Irrespective of 50-year age differences, worldwide nationalities**, and contrasting backgrounds – solid friendships were formed amongst the new and current Outremer owners, office staff and boat builders. 

 

This training community is one of the contributors to Outremer’s gold standard reputation. There is a culture of safety, seamanship, and support – created by the trainings themselves and nurtured by the behaviour of the participants. It was reassuring to see how seriously everyone approached the experience both on and off the water. 

 

On Saturday afternoon after a competitive day of light wind racing, Xavier Desmarest (co-founder of Grand Large Yachting and CEO of Outremer) and I were discussing how to exactly sum up the atmosphere of the event. “In French we have a saying,” he said, “it is lacher prise”.  The literal translation of the phrase into English is: “to loosen one’s grip”. But a closer translation would be: ‘to let go’. The lines between staff, yard worker, current Outremer owner, new owner and trainer are very blurred. The Outremer community is like a family, united by their passion for not just the product, but also what the product represents: sailing is freedom, letting go of the grip of life on land, opening your heart, trusting in yourself to find your way and work alongside nature. 

Take a peek at Outremer Week Spring 22 edition

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