I took part in the 2014 Thames Trafalgar race as a member of Michael Forbes Smith's crew on board a chartered Hanse 342 from Britannia Sailing School at Shotley marina.
The Fastnet race started on the 11th August and the LSC is represented by a number of members. Charles Whittam has again entered Juno inclass 4 with Mark Blunden and Simon Hughes in the crew. See http://littleshipclub.co.uk/content/round-rock-again-part-1. Sally Pearce, an ex member is also crewing onJuno. Don Shackly is crewing on Puma Logic in Class 2.
I have decided that I am too old for 4 or 5 days of sleeping at a 30 degree angle but I went to Cowes to see the start yesterday. Unfortunately the majority of the fleet stated at the mainland end of the line so it was difficult to see what was happening. However the big VPLP 131 Trimaran, Spindrift 2, sailing to a whopping TCF of 2.232 crossed the start close to the Island shore.
The early season booze cruise was organised because three of my shipmates had booked for their Yachtmaster exam in May but two of them had not done all their 60 mile passages as skipper. It was therefore decided to charter a boat so that we could do three 60 mile passages. The yacht was chartered back in the depths of winter, January I think, and in those distant days an April cross channel passage seemed a good idea. The crew consisted of three club members: Mark Blunden, Simon Hughes and myself, a shipmate who had sailed the Fastnet with us last year and three relative novices.
The fourth Fast Cruise was held on the 21st January. I had been invited on board Shearwater by Andy and Avril Ormsby for this cruise. We were also joined by Michael Forbes Smith and Ian, a friend of Andy's. We set off from Gosport around 0930 with a westerly wind at around 22 knots. On the passage out to the forts the wind was definitely building and so we opted for a full genoa with 2 reefs in the main. I was relieved to see a number of other yachts heading towards the start line and amongst the usual yachts we saw Windhover, Jof Buttery's new Arcona 430, on her maiden sail and Day at the Races sporting a new carbon fibre mast.
As we near the end of 2011 I thought that I would recap on my sailing adventures over the past year. My first sail of 2011 was the January Fast Cruise to Hamble where Bill and Anne Lewis kindly offered me a berth on Musyk. I cannot remember too much about the weekend except that it was cold.
My race started in inauspicious circumstances. Whilst climbing aboard Juno I managed to drop my sleeping bag in the sea. It was quickly recovered and hung across the boom in the hope that it would dry. My second error was not to don my oilskins before the start.
There is now just over a week until the Fastnet Race.
Juno has done all the qualifying miles, most of the crew have attended the ISAF Sea Survival Course, at least three of the crew have first aid certificates and two are doctors...
Saturday 30 July was Juno's last chance for fine tuning before the big race, the Fastnet, in 2 weeks time. The RORC channel race started at the RYS line in Cowes at 0900. The forecast for the weekend was for variable and light winds, a complete change from the majority of sailing this year, and early Saturday morning saw winds of about 3 to 4 knots from the east
The next event in the racing calendar for Juno's qualification for the Fastnet was the RORC Cowes to St Malo race which started on Friday 8 July. A number of us were down on the boat on Thursday to prepare for the race. During Thursday night the rain lashed down on the decks and the wind howled through the rigging causing the boat to heel over even though she was tucked snuggly in Port Hamble marina.
Last Saturday, the 25 June I competed on board Juno in the Round the Island Race and immediately (well, after a short break for a couple of glasses of fizzy wine and strawberries) travelled from Port Hamble to Hamble Point to join Michael Forbes Smith on Aeolus, a chartered HR 36. There would be four of us on board, the other two being Adrian Waller and Julie Rosenberg.