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Sailing fleet in New York Harbor

Nov 8, 2013

Sound Sailing Center

A sailing fleet sweeping into New York harbor with a pointed message isn't an everyday occurrence. It hasn't happened on a really large scale since 1776 when British Admiral Lord Howe arrived with nearly 400 ships to take New York.

The fleet that sailed though New York on November 4th was a bit smaller — two Pearson 37's, a Hanse 400 and a Hanse 320 from the Sound Sailing Center in Norwalk, Conn. — but apparently no less determined. This fleet was protesting the arrest of 30 Greenpeace activists who were demonstrating against Russian efforts to drill for oil in Arctic waters. The activists climbed aboard the Russian Prirazlomnaya oil platform and were arrested and their vessel, the Dutch-registered Arctic Sunrise was seized and towed into the Russian port of Murmansk.

The sailing protest fleet in New York City on November 4th was led by Martin Van Breems, director of the Sound Sailing Center and inventor of the Dutchman lazy jack system. The boats carried hand painted protest signs and first sailed in the East River at the site of the United Nations, before sailing to the Statue of Liberty and then showing their protest painted sails in the Hudson. The fleet docked at North Cove marina, where they held a final vigil and Van Breems made a short speech.  Stories on the protest on behalf of the Arctic 30, as the arrested Greenpeace members have been dubbed, was covered by several local TV stations.   

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