The reputation of the Beneteau Sense series as a true ocean-going cruiser racer was recently put to the test, leading to an outstanding result. Don Brooker and the crew aboard his Sense 50 Dorade battled huge seas and 33 other entrants to take out cruising division honours in the recent Fremantle to Bali yacht race.

Don admitted he and his crew were ecstatic at their result, considering most are regular dinghy sailors and not accomplished ocean racers, which is testament to the performance of the Sense 50.
After an early delay due to bad weather, Dorado and the fleet experienced favourable tail winds for most of the trip, but the size of the following sea was not for the feint hearted. Don had never sailed in such large seas, experiencing a white knuckled 16.5 knot run down a large wave during a late night leg, very nervous looking at what was boiling behind. “I was at the helm when I realized the boat was just flying down this huge wave. I was surprised to see us hit 16.5 knots, and the comforting thing is the boat just handled it so well”, said Don.
Don can’t rave enough about how well the boat performed, as they had no spinnaker but still kept up with all of the racing yachts. It was an amazing 10 day trip, with favourable conditions most of the way and the Sense showed it’s not well publicised fishing ability when the crew caught a nice Tuna and enjoyed some fresh sashimi.
Don was very thankful of the efforts of the Fremantle Sailing club who hosted such a great event. On arrival into Bali they organised a pipe band and all finishers met the arriving yachts with great fanfare and camaraderie.

Beneteau Sense 50 - Dorade
Don and his wife Darinka enjoy both yachting and their power boat, so when asked about why they chose a Sense 50 it come down to a couple of key things. After looking over their options they spoke with Givenchy and the team from Squadron Marine Brokers, Beneteau’s official WA dealer, about what makes the Sense series so good. “We really liked the room in the cockpit and the saloon layout, as it feels just like the space you get on a powerboat. Darinka really liked the kitchen layout, and I knew that the Beneteau sailing pedigree would ensure it was a great sailing boat”, said Don.
Don and his wife will soon take off for some leisurely sailing around the northern WA coastal waters including the stunning Abrolhos Islands. We can’t wait to hear about their trip.

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