Where Did the Pink Boat Go?

"Hey, do you guys know what happened to www.pinkboat.org?" We’ve found this question by readers in our inbox over the last few days so we checked it out and, sure enough, the site is down. For those who don’t know, Tom Watson has been planning a nonstop solo circumnavigation aboard his Pepto-pink Pearson Triton Darwind as a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For the last two years, Tom has organized very popular Pink Boat Regattas in San Francisco and Seattle, and was working to set one up in San Diego. After last summer’s Singlehanded TransPac, Tom sailed Darwind to Seattle, his new homebase.

When we saw the site was down, we reached out to Tom, who responded immediately. "I’m taking a break from the Pink Boat. I didn’t find a grant, and can’t continue to do it all on my dime, so I’m going to focus on my personal finances for a few years and get back to it."

Tom also pointed us to a post he’d made on the site before it came down. "Last year was an amazing year. I often dive into things with reckless abandon. I don’t know how things are going to work, but I don’t let that stop me from seizing the day and making the most of it. When I realized I could make a difference for people with the Pink Boat, I just jumped in and tried to make it work. We were able to donate nearly $60,000 [in 2012] and it’s been an amazing adventure but personally, it’s been a financial disaster and is not sustainable.

"We are going to continue to bring regattas raising money for breast cancer research to the country, but my around-the-world record attempt is going to be postponed for a few years while I work out the finances of that adventure. We actually think it will be more effective for the cause to stop in ports and bring our message to the world stage instead of going nonstop. Thank you to everyone who has supported us in 2012, and we look forward to a great 2013, although it will be a bit different than planned."

Tom says he loved working with the team at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and apparently the feeling was mutual. "We really can’t thank you enough for all the hard work and dedication you and all your friends and family have shown for the Pink Boat events and fundraising efforts," Associate Director of Marketing Pat Altman wrote to Tom. "It has been a unique and exciting partnership for us. We wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do going forward."

We at Latitude wish the same for Tom!

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The racing never stops in the many islands of the Eastern Caribbean, but the major events — most of which are from Antigua north for English speakers — run from late January to early May.