American solo sailor, and former foster youth, Elana Connor (of Peregrina Sails), is sailing a Figure 8 voyage around Aotearoa New Zealand to raise funds for VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai.
Three years ago Elana quit her job as a project manager in software and start-ups in Silicon Valley and sailed off from California across the Pacific Ocean.
She was on her way around the world, stopping in Auckland to sit out the cyclone season in December 2019. But like a lot of boaties, she’s been left in limbo here while the Covid-19 pandemic has closed countries’ borders.
So rather than sit idle, the American woman decided to embark on a circumnavigation of the North and South Islands, raising money as she goes for New Zealand teenagers in care.
Elana departed Auckland on 14 October, sailing southeast to the Bay of Plenty, around the East Cape, through the Cook Strait, down the west coast of the South Island, through the Foveaux Strait, north to Dunedin and Christchurch, through the Cook Strait to Wellington, and north to New Plymouth, around Cape Reinga and past the Bay of Islands to return to Auckland at the end of the summer. Her voyage will take approximately 21 weeks because she plans to stop in any port along the route where kiwi youth want to meet her and hear about the trip.
She’s not completely alone; she sails with her 4 kg rescue dog, Zia, a papillon mix.
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and the Wellington Youth Sailing trust have been lucky enough to get her to come and speak to us all next Friday Night!
When: Friday 12th February
So Come on down and listen to an amazing lady and her adventures while stuck in New Zealand.