Meet Ryan Donaldson, a man of dreams and sheer determination! As a guy with big aspirations Ryan turned to Peters & May to help him make his dreams a reality; embarking on his adventure to race in the Mini Transat.
After the successful shipment of Ryan’s Mini 650 ‘Double Trouble’, on our 52 yacht sailing from Antigua to Southampton; we caught up with Ryan to get a glimpse of what life is like for a first time P&M customer having never shipped a racing yacht before.
Ryan, tell us about your story?
‘My father, a passionate sailor taught me to sail when I was 6 years old – To be honest, I think it’s safe to say that I had learnt how to race before I knew how to sail! Ever since I have been sailing every type of yacht I can get my hands on. Currently working as 1st mate on a beautiful and fast 112-footer, I work with an amazing crew and great owner. Following an incredible itinerary, I am immersed in sailing every day – and NO I don’t get sick of it! Now I am looking forwards to taking on yet another challenge’.
Why do you want to race the Mini Transat?
‘It has been an 8-year odyssey for me to compete in the solo 4000nm race across the Atlantic. Starting in France, with a pit stop in the Canary Islands, and then a downwind ride to Martinique in the Caribbean – 3 weeks of *Yeeeehaaaa*. The mini is a natural pathway for bigger yachts and bigger races. The first step in my solo ocean racing career; it’s s stepping stone for me – a big challenge but it’s turning dreams into reality’.
So how was your first experience of shipping ‘Double Trouble’ with Peters & May?
‘Much easier than I thought! Having never shipped a yacht before, the idea used to make me laugh – why ship a yacht when you can sail it right? But there are so many benefits. During the lead up to the loading the communications team at Peters & May kept me updated and were super helpful getting any extras sorted. I would recommend them to anyone’.
Why did you choose Peters & May?
‘I did my research before using Peters & May. Initially, I looked into sailing her across or putting her in a 40ft container, but this option seemed to tick all the boxes. Working within the Superyacht industry, I have a lot of friends and fellow crew members that have used a variety of logistics companies. Peters & May offered me the best price and all my queries were answered with stress and problem free solutions’.
Did anything surprise you?
‘Naturally I’m interested in all things on the water. Big vessels or small yachts, so bringing my little mini under sail, solo, alongside the mighty MV ‘Kingfisher’ had me on the tips of my toes! I was surprised how efficient the Loadmasters were. I was waved over, preparations were made quickly and professionally, and before I knew it the slings were under and the yacht was being craned aboard. Despite the rough Antiguan Sea, the Loadmasters did a fantastic job of keeping everything under control. She was settled on her cradle in no time!’.
Where there any issues?
‘The biggest issue I had was the British weather. Just as I stepped aboard ‘Double Trouble’ in Southampton the skies opened. Thanks England – forgot my jacket!’.
How were Peters & May at providing extra services?
‘Great! Its basically a one stop service. I required additional Marine Cargo Insurance, which was sorted in 2 emails by Peters & May’s partner Pantaenius Yacht Insurance. Customs were taken care of inhouse without a hitch using Peters & May’s recommended agents’.
Will you be using Peters & May again?
‘I think it’s inevitable that I will need my racing yacht shipped again. I know now what to expect and look forward to working with Peters & May in the future. With my passion for yacht racing, sometimes races can finish a very, very long way away and it may not be the best option to sail back: Wear and tear, cost of food, fuel, crew and the big one none of us get enough of – time! Working on a Superyacht, it may be that next time I ship with Peters & May I will be working with their Superyacht transport team. The Superyacht industry often ships 1,2 or 3 shadow containers around the globe, and we generally do a lot of miles downwind. It can be hard on the big yachts to punch back upwind for thousands of miles. Shipping can often be more beneficial for the owner and crew’.
After chatting to Ryan, it is clear to see that he has some exciting but challenging times ahead. As Ryan prepares for the Mini Transat qualifiers, Peters & May support him every step of the way; wishing him the very best of luck!