British born Allan Dobson, an experienced sailor, lived in Hong Kong for many years and as a member of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club sailed in regattas such as the China Sea Race, San Fernando Race, Vietnam Race and cruised from Panama to Tahiti. After leaving Hong Kong, he and his family moved to Seattle in the United States and earlier this year, purchased Carrick, a brand new Rustler 42 in the UK. They are in good company as HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence recently traded in their Rustler 36 for a new Rustler 44.
Carrick was launched in May and after sea trials was sailed to Las Palmas for the start of the ARC. Allan will sail with 3 friends he met through sailing, some from his Hong Kong days. Roger Henderson now lives in Devon but back in ’86 raced for the winning HK team in the Sonata World Championships in Weymouth. Allden Owles is the youngest member of the crew and he has sailed more that half the world on various boats from 32 to 55ft in the Bluewater Rally. Jack DeFriel is flying over especially from the States for the Atlantic crossing.
“I wanted a good seaworthy boat, one I would have confidence in that was well built by a company well regarded in this respect. This proved to be the case with Rustler. I was looking for a quality build with tracking ability, ease of handling, stability and a cutter rig I would say is almost essential for long distance cruising. There are two other Rustler Yachts, a 36 and a 44, taking part in the ARC,” said Allan when asked about his perfect boat for bluewater cruising.
Following the ARC, Carrick will sail up to the British Virgin Islands and then Allan will cruise with family and friends each winter in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean for summer. She will be based between the two and has been set up and equipped to be left for longer periods in between cruising.
Asked about his reasons for taking part in the ARC, Allan commented: “ I had sailed in the ARC as crew in 2007 and as Carrick is a new boat, I thought it was nice to have some company so embraced the ARC. It’s meeting like-minded people and feeling that you’re having a good time that makes this event. You carry this euphoria with you until you are about 12 hours out with a vast ocean ahead of you but it’s nice to be in company at that point.”
A family man himself, Allan’s children are at college in Seattle but he says: “The ARC comes into its own for families. It gives confidence to the Mum’s and Dad’s to have the support of the ARC for their Atlantic crossing.” With 21 children in the fleet there is a programme of activities especially designed for children and family boats.