Amazingly ordinary ... the editor's welcome to the Summer issue of Yachting Monthly
What do you picture when you think of a round-the-world yacht? A carbon rocket ship like Alex Thompson’s Hugo Boss, a luxurious bluewater cruiser complete with bimini and solar panels, or Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s long-keeled Suhaili?
It is unlikely you’d pick a 22ft trailer sailer, but that is what Polish sailor Szymon Kuczyński has used to complete his non-stop solo circumnavigation. His lifting-keel Maxus 22 was built for inland waterways and is smaller even than the Mini Transat raceboats. The feat is remarkable. This is Kuczyński’s second circumnavigation – his first included stops – yet it was without fanfare that he arrived back in Mayflower Marina in Plymouth after 271 days at sea, having passed south of all the great capes and survived all that it entails (p6). Explaining his choice of boat, he said, ‘I took this yacht just because I had it.’ Slightly bonkers, but a simple and liberating rationale. Isn’t this freedom a key part of cruising, being able to just go, and keep going, even if you wouldn’t want to emulate the nine months in a bathtub bit?
An ordinary boat can access aquatic adventure on an epic scale, yet more people have probably been into space or climbed Everest than do what Kuczyński has done. The Golden Globe Race, which gets underway this month, will hopefully add a few more names to the list of Corinthian circumnavigators.
It’s not all about endurance though. Once the lines are cast off, where will you sail this summer? It could be quiet anchorage on the Isle of Man (p66), down to the Med for some serious sunshine (p38) or even across to the Caribbean for the best of Antigua (p20).
Not that long ago, getting well sunburnt at the start of the season was seen as the necessary first step to a thorough suntan, akin to a good coat of primer. Get through one or two layers of skin and you’d be impervious to the sun, or so many sailors thought. Sadly this isn’t the case, and UV wrecks havoc with skin, decks and brightwork alike. Med guru Rod Heikell used to be blasé about sunshine, but now he takes protecting himself and his boat seriously.