true north yacht
Last Friday the 1st of February 2013, the Casa de Campo Yacht Club in the Marina Casa de Campo hosted a cocktail in honor of the arrival of TRUE NORTH, a Volvo Open 70 racing yacht – the fastest class of racing yacht in the world – and the following morning a select few were invited aboard for a high speed sailing expedition! True North is the re-branded Volvo Open 70 racing yacht, previously called Green Dragon – which in 2009 finished in 5th place in the Volvo Ocean Race. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 35knots (65kph), the Volvo Open 70 class of racing yacht has proven itself to be the fastest monohull sailboat class ever built! And as such it was a very exciting addition to the Marina Casa de Campo during it’s visit from the 26th to the 4th of February 2013. What was she doing in Casa de Campo? The True North was chartered by the Dubai Expo 2020 to promote Dubai as a candidate city for the World Expo 2020 – one of the world’s largest and oldest international events and a great exhibition of the works of industry from across the planet. As part of Dubai’s bid, the True North is circumnavigating the world, currently visiting countries in the Caribbean; Barbados, St. Vincent and Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Cuba. During the cocktail at the Marina Casa de Campo, special guests of the Casa de Campo Yacht Club enjoyed meeting the enthusiastic and multinational crew of the True North over cocktails – but not too many because the following day, at 10am, we went sailing… All aboard!  Arriving to the Marina Casa de Campo bright and early on Saturday morning, we were all rather surprised at how small the True North was! Despite being 70ft long, the True North has only a 19ft beam (is 19ft wide) – which when you consider it’s home to the crew of 7 for days at a time when they’re out at sea – it’s pretty small! Although we just had a peak inside, we did notice that the sleeping accommodations were less than comfortable – that is unless you enjoy sleeping on a narrow shelf! But once we set sail out of the Marina Casa de Campo and felt the breeze whipping through our hair – it was easy to see how these nautical enthusiasts could forget “home comforts” for a few days and embrace the beauty of the open water! Of course it was not all plain sailing as they say, and this was certainly no pleasure and partying cruise to Palmilla – aboard one of the world’s fastest racing yachts we quickly learnt there is plenty of work to be done… In teams of 6 they had us (all of us!) hoisting the sales up and down (not an easy task at all!) – something which caused the speed to pick up and the yacht to tilt dramatically to one side! Rather exciting for a Saturday morning! Once all the sails were hoisted we learnt that we then had a larger wing span than a 747 yacht – and successfully reached a speed of approximately 20knots – not bad for a team of novices! Go crew Casa de Campo!

Crew Casa de Campo aboard the True North

Many thanks to the crew of the True North for visiting our little piece of paradise and for inviting us aboard for a spin! To find out more about the Dubai Expo 2020 visit: PHOTO CREDIT: Some of the above photos were contributed by Francisco Vignale of the Dubai Expo 2020. The following photos were taken at the cocktail party on Friday evening the 1st of February 2013 at the Casa de Campo Yacht Club and during our voyage aboard the True North on Saturday morning the 2nd of February: