AZAB 2023 Entrants

The line up for the one multihull start and four monohull class starts on Saturday 3rd June 2023.

065 Jon Myers will be racing ‘Amigos‘, his Archambault A35, with son Ed. Jon has been sailing since crewing a Mirror Dinghy as a child. His offshore experience includes the British Steel Challenge round the world race and 3 Fastnet campaigns as crew on a J109. Ed started sailing on the family’s Sadler 25 aged 2 and now regularly races on boats in the Solent including RORC offshore events in a highly competitive JPK1180. He has completed 2 Fastnet campaigns. They really enjoy racing together and will push hard for a good result.
079 Tim Stevenson sailed his Rustler 37 ‘Andrillot II’ in the 2015 AZAB and is returning to do the 2023 event. He will be double handed on both legs, sailing with good friend Bill Darley on the outward leg and his son Robert on the return leg.
Tim and Bill have sailed together many times since racing dinghies as teenagers, and Bill is very experienced having crossed the Atlantic a few times and cruised extensively. Robert has been sailing all his life, crewing on many boats and racing in four Fastnets.
003 Mervyn Wheatley in ‘Arethusa of Yealm‘. So many AZABs under his belt!
099 Ross Farrow and Conor Corson are sailing ‘Asgard‘ a Sunfast 3300
102 Bruce Sutherland is entering ‘Bare Necessities‘, a Dazcat 1150 with Alison Busfield, who has always wanted to do AZAB. Apart from the rather large sail training vessels Churchill and Miller, Alison started her big boat sailing in 1989 in the RCYC’s Friday Night series on a Scampi whose owner had done the race, and that fired her fancy……. so finally here we are!
We have cruised and raced Bare Necessities around the West Coast of France and UK over the last 9 years including Fastnets, Round Ireland and Armen as well as Three Peaks and Scottish Islands Peak Races.
039 Since childhood, long before bucket lists were invented, sailing AZAB has been on Maddy’s wish list. Having retired from the 2015 race, sailing dual handed, she is now intending to go it alone with her 31 footer ‘Bliss‘. She has sailed more than 20,000 miles single handed and the boat feels like her natural habitat by now. While she loves being alone at sea, she is also thoroughly looking forward to the social aspects of the race.
085 Bruce Ramsay has raced ‘Bombardino‘, a Grand Soleil 40, double-handed for many years, including the RBI. He also completed the Fastnet fully crewed and regular inshore solo races. He will probably be double handed for the AZAB.
091 Donald Macdonald is entering again single-handed, this time in ‘Bonkers‘ a Salona 38. In 2019 he sailed Rainmaker.
104 ‘Carrick‘ is a Rustler 42 owned by Simon Hutchinson. He completed the RWYC Round Britain & Ireland last year, and on other boats has done numerous Scottish Islands Peaks Races and the YM Triangle Race (retired, lost rudder). He will sail double-handed with Tim Light, founder of the Fal River brand who has hosted the VIP Start Boat for the last 5 AZAB races and is really pleased to be crossing the start this time. He has completed in the Schroeder Cup and infamous Blue Cup race series in Greece.
064 Graham Rice and Mike Denton, both 56, are the proud owners of ‘Chimaera of Falmouth‘, a 2005 Rustler 36.
Having maintained a lifelong friendship since their shared childhood in Bahrain, where they learnt to sail at an early age, they raced Sigma 33s and 505s in the UK in their twenties. Despite Graham’s subsequent move to Malaysia, where he is still based, they continued to share numerous sailing adventures, primarily in the Solent and the West coast of Scotland.
Graham and Mike have long aspired to the challenge and adventure of competing in an ocean race and are excited to have reached the point of being able to participate in the prestigious AZAB. Their mission is to complete the race, be safe and have fun – but maybe also, perhaps, with luck, be competitive!
038 Rob Windsor and Stephen Davies are hugely excited at the prospect of taking part in the AZAB 2023 in Rob’s Contessa 32 ‘Colmere‘.  They are currently preparing the boat for Fastnet 2021 and have their fingers crossed that the season will be a normal one.
028 James Murray in his Contessa 32 ‘Confusion‘ will compete two handed with co-skippers Mark Treacher in Leg 1 and Mel Sharp in leg2
108 David Reynard has entered his fully electric Southerly 47 “Doris“. Racing now with Wayne Peters, who had previously entered with “Nazca”. David was one of Wayne’s early clients at ‘Sail Electric’ and Doris now sports the latest propulsion and power management technology. Doris is a capable blue water cruiser preparing for around the world adventure, as this will be their first Category 1 race, a true test for this next generation yacht and crew.
093 Brothers James and Charles Clapham, coming from sailing family, grew up cruising Scotland and Brittany on there family boat ( Nic 38 and Oyster 39). They started their big boat interest skippering a classic 65ft 1903 yacht Kelpie during their university years. During lockdown they purchased ‘Fidelitas‘ and have been racing her on the South Coast. The boat is based out of Torbay.
107 Tim Behrendt & Andreas Buchheim. ‘Frida‘, a JPK 1180. They say “We’ve been friends for ages, and we’ve been sailing together for even longer. For nearly 30 years, we’ve hit the high seas of the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic coast, both for racing and just kicking back.
When it comes to regattas, we’re all about shorthanded ones. The Baltic 500, Round Skagen, Helgoland-Edinburgh, and even the Transquadra (which was a real highlight, by the way) – we’ve done ’em all.
But, let’s face it, the last couple of years have been a bit of a drag with all the pandemic craziness. That’s why we’re stoked for the MailASail AZAB Race – it’s the perfect chance to get out there and feel the salty breeze again!“
023 Jarl and Max Spandow, father and son, join the AZAB for the first time with ‘Fryd‘, a Najad 415p (designed as Swedestar 415). Together we have crossed the North Sea multiple times, participating in different regattas between Norway and the UK. Some years ago, we sailed Fryd across the Atlantic, taking part in the ARC and returned to Norway via the Viking route, including spending many weeks exploring the magnificent fjords of Greenland. When not sailing, Jarl runs an investment business and Max is a professional navigational officer in the Norwegian merchant fleet.
Father and son crew, Jarl and Max Spandow, are doing their first AZAB in Fryd, a Najad 415p (designed as Swedestar 415).
They have crossed the North Sea many times together, taking part in different regattas between Norway and the UK. Some years ago, they sailed Fryd across the Atlantic, participating in the ARC, and returning to Norway via the Viking route, This involved spending many weeks exploring the magnificent fjords of Greenland.
When not sailing, Jarl runs an investment business and Max is a professional navigation officer in the Norwegian merchant fleet.
073 Pierre Garoche, could not upgrade ‘Extrado’, a Figaro, to comply with requirements in time, so will be sailing ‘Graciosa‘, a Sunfast 3200 instead. Pierre is manager of Extrado Yachting in Port la Forêt. He will be sailing with Jose Medeiros who is a sailing instructor and manager at Ponta Delgada Clube Naval. Together they have delivered several yachts, including Azores to France and Lisboa to Reunion Island.
078 ‘Haven KJ Enigma‘ is a Northshore MG346 based in Poole, owned by Ian Braham. Ian will be sailing double-handed with co-skipper Peter Eyre. The pair have been sailing together on the boat for 12 years, including competing in two Fastnet Races.
069 Jane and Jerry Freeman are sailing their Sunfast 3200 ‘Hot Pursuit‘ in a reprise of their 1987 AZAB. Jerry has already completed 5 AZABs, the first in 1979 in the Contessa 26 Sundowner, and the most recent in 2015 in the J105 Juliette. His logbook also includes OSTAR 1984, 1992, 2009 and six Round Britain and Ireland races.
Jane has made four Atlantic crossings including one as skipper from Newport, R.I. to Lymington via Horta in the Sadler 32 Jenny Wren.
Jane and Jerry are members of the Ocean Cruising Club and have cruised to Iceland, Greenland, the Cape Verdes, Venezuela and the Caribbean.
Hot Pursuit is based in the Hamble and is raced regularly in both single and double- handed events in the Solent and is entered in this year’s Fastnet race.
094 Szymon Kuczynski is entering ‘Hultaj‘ his Figaro One, modified to comply with the stability requirements. Szymon’s first ocean crossing was on self built 15 foot sailing boat. Next were two circumnavigations on 6.3m (20 ft) boat called “Puffin”. The Twostar 2022 was done in Hultaj with Ania
Jastrzebska. Szymon and Ania want to race every ocean participating in iconic races – hence AZAB. Hultaj (Rascal) is not the most comfortable of
sailing boats but extremely seaworthy.
071 Klaas Jan Kroon sailed from the age of 4, raced a Mirror competitively from twelve, began offshore sailing at fifteen and since then has raced in many national and international offshore events.
At twenty-four he had saved enough to buy ‘Simply Irresistible’ a quarter ton Zeeton, but his voyages got longer and he needed a boat to match, so a Spirit 32 followed, then a Dehler 34SV. Now Klaas has a Dehler 39 SQ,`Inspirit’, which he and his partner have sailed to Spain, Portugal, Norway and around England.
After years of fully crewed sailing, Klaas became more interested in shorthanded sailing, liking the significant mental and physical challenge. He has raced to Norway more than fourteen times, sailed the North Sea Triangle to the Shetlands and Norway twice, and competes in a number of shorthanded and solo events every year in Holland, such as the 200 Miles Solo.
This will be Klaas’s first time sailing a distance of more than 1200 nm and he is looking forward to the race – he is convinced that he and his crew, Oscar have more than enough conversation, resources, skills and humour to sail the AZAB!
Oscar also began sailing very young, at 7 in an Optimist, soon reaching the top ranks in the Netherlands. Competitive racing in more than 20 yachts followed, and recently Oscar joined skippered and delivered many yachts across Europe, and also particpated in the ARC on Elisa, a Nordia 54, sailing the same yacht from Ponta Delgada to Brittany.
New to him on the AZAB will be double-handed racing and he looks forward to arriving safely and quickly
059 Mark Thompson claims not to be sure how he and his crew Phil Jackson arrived at the decision to enter AZAB, but they are both looking forward to it.
They campaign double handed in ‘Jac Y Do’, a Sunfast 3200 based in Pwllheli, North Wales, in the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Series (ISORA.org) in both Wales and Ireland, representing Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club and the Royal Dee Yacht Club.
Mark has flown over the Azores many times with his day job, often wondering what they are like, so he’s now hoping that they arrive with enough time to enjoy the island before the restart.
It seems they can be told apart by their topics of conversation – Mark drones on about Sailing, and Phil about Manchester United! And apparently, it will be Phil with the wallet when they arrive in Falmouth!
051 ‘Jackdaw‘ is a well-known J39 from the Solent and Falmouth racing circuits over the last 25 years that competed in the Royal Western RB&I race in 2018.  Her crew of four – Gill Fox, Bob Warren, John Fox and Billy Trebilcock are all local to Falmouth and have been sailing and racing together for over 40 years.
109 ‘La Promesse’, an open 40 built by Phil Morrison will be raced double handed by Wouter Lampe (18) and JanKees Lampe (57).
Wouter and JanKees are a father and son who have dreamed about competing together in the AZAB Race. In the summer of 2022, they sailed La Promesse from Newport (RI) to Sao Miguel. La Promesse took line honours on legs in the AZAB 2007 & 2011 races and the OSTAR 2009 and TWOSTAR 2022! They are looking forward to visiting Falmouth again and setting off for another fantastic race!
048 Kees van Koersveld was born and lives in the Netherlands, and owns a ship delivery company and chandlery. His sailing began with his father on a wooden open boat on the river Maas when he was just 3 years old, before they sailed a selection of cruising yachts locally and offshore in English coastal waters, the Channel Islands, Norway and Sweden.
After sailing a range of dinghies, Kees became a keen windsurfer and, for 10 years, a motorbike enthusiast – “crazy hobby, when the sun starts shining, you dress yourself in leather, put on your helmet and start driving, not noticing the warmth, wind, sun and rain on your skin.”
Keen to experience the elements again, he competed in a Dutch open class Splash, and then moved up into a 22-feet J-Boat, sailing solo on inshore and coastal waters, and taking part twice in the Dutch Small Ships Race. Realising he needed a more seaworthy boat for single handed sailing and racing) Kees bought his 30’ Corby, Mercurial Spirit, “m.Spirit” in 2015. Built originally for taking part in single- or shorthanded events such as the Round Britain, she is made of wood-core with layers of kevlar and epoxy,was refitted in the late 90s for transatlantic racing, and finished second in her class in the 2013 OSTAR.
Kees bought the boat hoping to one day take part in the OSTAR but, in the meantime, wants to take part in AZAB 2023 to gain valuable experience.
040 Frans van Capelle and his wife Michelle bought ‘Moana‘, a brand new J122E, in 2018. Keen racers, they began with local bi-weekly Icicle Trophy racing, added longer ORC and IRC offshore races and regattas all over Europe. Delivery trips served as holidays, the miles added up and confidence and skills grew, with a very low crew turnover. Even the challenging 2021 Fastnet (ripped mainsail on the delivery trip, rough conditions, steering wheel problems and a broken vang!) just added to their experience and didn’t put them off.
The family also enjoy occasional double-handed sailing, Michelle, Peter and March joining Frans from time to time. They have a busy year – finishing the Uspegel regatta 22/23, participating in the VUR in Stellendam, the Vuurschepen race and NSR in May, a 50 mile double-handed event on the Markemeer and then, their biggest adventure so far, the AZAB race, before beginning the next chapter in the Caribbean in 2024.
Having raced many hours together, inshore and offshore, Frans and Marc know each other and the boat well, sharing the same passion for sailing and pushing hard for the best possible result. Competitive they may be, but they also like a good joke, don’t take themselves too seriously and enjoy good food both afloat and onshore.
087 Purchased in 2022, ‘One Way’ is a Sunfast 3600 jointly owned by a crew of four, all of whom are onboard for the race, taking advantage of the trial ‘crewed’ section. She has been worked up to race in IRC 2, largely in the RORC circuit.
Joint skippers Dan Rigden and David Melville have a few Fastnets under their belt and look forward to some ocean miles. Joint owners and crew Angus Dodd and Callum Couper have also competed in Fastnets and Transats in the past.
All have jobs and families and never enough time to maintain or race the boat as they would like. They look forward to the end of visiting the chandlery and the start of the race in Falmouth and wish their fellow competitors the very best of luck. They are looking forward to saying hello on the dock.
103 Martijn Pater from Amsterdam is sailing ”Pinta’, a one-off One-Tonner. For the last few years he has been restoring this classic racer and decided to join the AZAB race with his friends. Paul Wijnandts will be joining him for the first leg and Maurick den Boom for the return leg. They are looking forward to the race and all that comes with it. They are very eager to sail Pinta out there on the Atlantic. Also, they are keen to join all the planned events.
010 Kuba has been sailing since he was seven, beginning on Polish lakes and then moving to the Baltic and the North Sea. Graduating from the Maritime Academy as Deck Officer, he has sailed his whole professional life on tankers as Master. Nowadays Kuba is based in the Isle of Man, and races under their flag. Polished Manx is frequently in the Baltic as well, clocking 10,000 to 12,000 racing miles a year.
Having completed the 2019 AZAB in ‘Polished Manx‘, Kuba got absolutely hooked on the iconic race. This time he is accompanied by Adrian Kucmin on the first leg and Artur Cywinski on the way back, both frequent co-skippers who have done many Fastnets, RB&Is and other RORC and ISORA off shore races. Po
A wholly Polish crew, they are looking forward to a great race, super fun, and camaraderie.
055 Bart Jansen is entering in ‘Raspa’ his Koopmans 35. He will be sailing double-handed.
110 Chris Williams has been racing for 40+ years including the 1994 YM two-handed Triangle, 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland and 2017 Fastnet two-handed. He would like to do an offshore race single-handed before he’s too old and has entered in his HOD35, ‘Saltheart‘.
053 Erik Kruse is entering ‘Seamonster’, a Najad 361 belonging to his parents which he sails regularly. They took part in the 2000 ARC and Erik brought her back to Europe the following year. Arriving in Falmouth, he heard about the AZAB Race and decided that one day he would take part. Now, after almost a quarter of a century, his parents sail Seamonster less but agreed to a farewell voyage, entrusting her, as so many times before, to Erik to sail her to the Azores and Back with his friend Alex.
095 ‘Storna Hoga‘ is a very beautiful, Swedish built Forgus 37, constructed by hand on the Isle of Orust in Sweden, and favouring a slightly taller rig and greater sail area than some other Swedish yachts. Although rarely seen in UK waters, Brendan Tuer considers that the Fergus’s reduced centre of gravity from her keel-stepped mast, and the lower freeboard offer exceptional sailing performance.
Storna Hoga means “Big High” or “High Star” in Swedish and is also the name of a small Swedish village near the Isle of Orust, where Brendan bought the boat.
Sailing alongside his friend and co-skipper Alec Beer, Brendan entered the AZAB partly for the “fun and challenge.” He hopes that with other AZAB sailors they may in some way inspire others to raise the bar and challenge themselves in whatever they do.
“I’m more interested in the overall journey than the actual race to the finish line,” he says, “and I’m looking forward to seeing sperm and fin whales, which I haven’t seen since last time I sailed to the Azores. For Alec who has already sailed around the world four times, I think his biggest challenge will be putting up with my cooking!” (Sister ship pictured)
101 Rupert Kidd, a geologist and former oil company CEO, has extensive short-handed racing experience such as OSTAR (1988), AZAB (1995), RB&IR (7 times: 1985,1989,1993,2010,2014,2018,2022) plus 25,000 miles family cruising with small children, all in multihulls. Rupert is Commodore of MOCRA.
Alan Mitchell, co-skipper, former owner of a boatyard and marina business in Cardiff, has extensive racing and cruising experience on his own boats including numerous 3 peaks races and the RB&IR completed three times all with Rupert in 1989,1993 and 2022.
Sueños‘, a Dazcat 1195, was designed by Darren Newton and built in Millbrook Cornwall, by Multimarine Composites in 2010 as a cruiser/racer with significant input from the owner, Rupert Kidd, to combine high performance racing with cruising comforts. Sueños has completed 4 RB&IR (2010,2014,2018,2022), Round Ireland 2016, Fastnet races in 2013 and 2019, 2 Armen Races and the Plymouth Fastnet 500 in 2021. Sueños spent the 2018-2019 winter cruising to the Canaries and back with both Rupert and Alan on board.
067 Alistair Cooke, racing ‘Sundance‘ single handed, started sailing in Southampton Water as a nine-year-old in a Mirror, playing chicken with the QE2 and the Canberra into his teens.
An absence from sailing followed due to his discovery of girls but an obsession, with sailing that is, was reawakened with the purchase of a battered old Wayfarer in 2004, leading to a few wonderful seasons cruising it in the Solent and beyond.
There then followed various boats of various charms, or lack thereof, until he bought a rather neglected Sigma 36 in Greece in 2014. Two seasons cruising in the Ionian followed and a ton of work done in 40-degree heat – it turns out it is actually possible to drown in your own sweat!
Alistair and his wife then sailed Sundance to Malaga where they got stuck for two years and, in 2019, he sailed her back to the UK with various crews and much puking. In 2021 he raced Sundance in the RORC series culminating in the Fastnet which they completed despite a lot of breakages and more puking, arriving in Cherbourg just as the event was packing up!!
Alistair says he is now really looking forward to the challenge of longer distance singlehanded sailing!
121 ‘Superbigou‘, an IMOCA 60 is sailed by Will Claxton and Craig Brown
014 David Faucher discovered the existence of the AZAB race a few months before the departure of the previous edition. He is now actively preparing himself and his boat, a Rustler 36 ‘Ventura‘ for this coming edition. This will be first participation in a single handed race although he navigates since childhood, starting on dinghies with his brother. He is used to sailing in the English Channel but now wants to progress and learn in a race professionally supported. The AZAB race best fits his aspirations (distance and time) constraints due to his job.

Keep up to date with the AZAB 2023 on social media.