Noonsite, which has guided countless sailors around the globe, has a new set of hands on the helm. As of June 2, the World Cruising Club (www.worldcruising.com) has taken over noonsite (www.noonsite.com) from its founder, cruising icon Jimmy Cornell. For the uninitiated, noonsite is a free Internet site for cruisers either preparing for a voyage or already under way, where they can get up-to-the minute global information on everything from weather to visa requirements to marine services.
So why the switch?
"It was a purely personal decision," says Cornell. "My daughter, Doina, who has managed noonsite since its launch in January 2000, has decided to become a teacher, so she's going back to university. And my son, Ivan, who designed the site, is very busy as systems manager with a large post-production film company, which he joined last year."
Cornell says that he'd been thinking about the transition ever since Doina told him about her decision to go to school. "I realized that we would be hard put to run noonsite without her," he says. And there's no big mystery why Cornell chose the World Cruising Club as the new caretaker of noonsite. "It was the logical choice," he says. "WCC is also my creation, which I launched in 1986, initially to run the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers."
It didn't take long for Cornell to come to a mutual agreement with WCC directors Andrew Bishop and Jeremy Wyatt. "They recognized the logic of the move, and so we came to a quick decision," says Cornell. And it certainly helped that both Bishop and Wyatt share the same view about the philosophy behind noonsite.
"The main aim of both World Cruising Club and noonsite was, and continues to be, to provide a service to the international cruising community," says Cornell. "This is something that I believe in very strongly, and it was also my main motive for writing World Cruising Routes and World Cruising Handbook. These books as well as noonsite are something that I felt was needed and I wished had been around when I first went cruising in the mid-1970s."
"We are very excited at the prospect of developing noonsite.com for the benefit of all cruising sailors," says WCC's Wyatt. "It will remain a free service to the cruising community, and we are in complete agreement with Jimmy on this point. I'm also pleased to say that Jimmy will still be involved as a consultant, especially on routing questions, since his expertise is widely recognized in this area."
Doina and Ivan will only remain involved with noonsite during the initial handover to see that the transition goes smoothly. "Doina is already booked to do an initial teacher's-training session this summer," says Cornell. "And Ivan built his own 26-foot cruiser-racer, so he plans to do some serious racing this summer."
Cornell has understandably mixed emotions about relinquishing his baby. "I'm both relieved and sad," he says. "But I know that noonsite is now in very good hands, so I'm confident that if anything, noonsite can only become even more successful."
Cornell isn't completely slowing down, but he's no longer planning any grand endeavors, either. "I only have some very modest adventures in mind," he says, "such as cruising in Greece this summer, but definitely no enterprises. My wife, Gwenda, has already warned me that any more 'new ideas' and I'll be in deep, deep trouble!"