Yachting: Leisurely sail around world gets gong

By Peter Thorley

Kerry Farrand wasn't one of the big names at the 2012 Yachting Excellence Awards but the prize he picked up was still a pretty big deal.

Farrand received the Yachting New Zealand Cruising Award for his circumnavigation of the globe - a journey in his Beneteau 50 that took him five years.

"It was something that I've wanted to do since I was a boy, I grew up in a yachting family and always read books about people circumnavigating the globe and about ocean passages," he said.

The trip was taken on a fairly leisurely basis with Farrand flying to where he last left his boat when the New Zealand winter started kicking in.

"It wasn't a matter of charging around the globe in a Volvo Round the World Race, I wanted to see a bit of the world, too," he explained.

He has certainly done that and rates the South Pacific as the jewel of the crown and the most memorable part of his sailing adventure.

"We really take it for granted because it's so close to us but it really it quite beautiful ... the other part of the world that really grabbed me was Croatia and the islands around it. Its people, culture, architecture and history are so different to what we have down here," he said.

The Caribbean was another highlight for the Kerikeri Cruising Club member but he said it was overcrowded compared to our part of the world.

The trip wasn't without its risks, particularly when passing through the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean on his way to the Red Sea.

"We thought we'd been run down by pirates one night in the Gulf of Aden but it turned out to be a false alarm but it was still pretty scary ... there are some parts of the world that you really need to have your wits about you," he said.

The waters and the routes he was about to sail were always thoroughly researched and strategies worked out in advance to minimise risk.

Farrand has sold the boat he sailed around the globe in to his son and that has provided the impetus to finish off his new boat ... and that's all that's keeping him from doing some more cruising right now.

The award pales into significance compared with the memories he picked up on his cruising adventure but it still was a "nice thought", he said. "It was the last thing I expected and I'm sure there are many others who deserve it more than me but it was a very pleasant evening and I have the cruising club to thank for nominating me."

Kerikeri 470 silver medallist Blair Tuke missed out on Sailor of the Year award which instead went to Olympic golden girls Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie.

Kerikeri Cruising Club's Derry Godbert also received a Yachting NZ Service Award at the ceremony.

- Northern Advocate

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