Web editor signs out

The last few years have been a steep learning curve for all of us involved with the website, whether users or developers. The initial redevelopment was thanks to the tenacity of Chris Smith backed by rear commodore membership and marketing Kate Newman. Chris brought a huge amount of IT knowledge to the project and had the foresight to champion Drupal and CiviCRM - two open source systems (ie free). This has meant the Club has a website delivering a high level of functionality at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke system.

Rachel Hedley, 29.08.2013 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog

An epic row

Track of Team Mums Away Channel Row

A light breeze skimming over the waves, a tiny swell as the oars creak in their rowlocks, with a rhythmic splash as they enter the blue sea - different to the river, bigger, but a perfect morning as the two crews of Team Mums Away embark on their Channel Row, Friday 26 July 2013. The White Cliffs slowly reducing in size as the big Spring tide pushes us towards Folkestone, the boat taking an angle at odds to our minds as we follow the pilot boats navigating a course to the Colbart North cardinal buoy on the border of French territorial waters, which we're still not allowed to cross into.

Rachel Hedley, 27.07.2013 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog

Channel Row tracking link and video

This time tomorrow we hope to have finished the Channel Rowing Challenge that Team Mums Away have been working towards since January. The team is well prepared, the forecast could not be better, and we are hoping for a smooth row out to mid-Channel and back to finish at Dover. We've had two practice rows of 22 miles each, the final one has been condensed into this 2 minute video

Rachel Hedley, 25.07.2013 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog

Selling a 26-foot, 30-year-old boat

6X being loaded onto a lorry at Gosport Boatyard ready for her trip North

Last week I went down to Gosport boatyard to do the final pack up of 6X, the Trapper 300 which has been part of our family life for nearly 30 years. My Dad, "the Admiral", decided at the end of last year that it was time to let someone else take on the responsibility for the boat. He is 79 this August and was starting to find the maintenance and upkeep too much of a chore. I had been the main user of the boat for the last ten years, with him having a few day sails in gentler weather, and have appreciated working alongside him on the annual cycle of anti-fouling, engine maintenance, fitting out, laying up. But the boat would always belong to him, and as long as I was sailing it he would feel responsible for her upkeep and safety. So, reluctantly, we turned our thoughts to selling it to someone else.

Rachel Hedley, 15.07.2013 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog

Bond Night success and French spanner in works

Team Mums Away at Little Ship Club for their Best of Bond Night (photo: SimonWar

The Little Ship Club provided the perfect setting for the Mums Away Best of Bond fundraising night on Friday 28 June raising money for The AHOY Centre, Deptford which raised £20,000 after costs. With the team riding the crest of their fundraising wave, this week saw them bought down to earth with the news that the French authorities have imposed a blanket ban on all 'unconventional crossings' which puts the row to France in doubt.

Rachel Hedley, 02.07.2013 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog

Rowing the Channel for charity in 2013

How not to row - MumsAway team in training with a lot to learn

What on earth would persuade 14 women, all mothers, all over the age of 42 (most of us over the age of 50), with no rowing experience, to row the Channel?

It may have been the January effect: too much Christmas pudding and the need for a challenge.

But mostly it was the inspiration of the AHOY Centre, a Deptford-based charity which changes the lives of disadvantaged young people and people with disabilities through sailing and rowing activities.

Rachel Hedley, 14.03.2013 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog

Sunbathing aboard Azanti

Windhover heads back to Gosport

I drove to Southsea marina along the M27 on Friday night in dense fog, crawling my way off the motorway slip road down into Portsmouth. What is it that Tom Cunliffe says about sailing in fog? "Don't do it". Was this going to be another weekend of wishing that winter sailing had never been invented I wondered?

The skipper and Kate were already on board and we settled down to put the world to rights and polish off a bottle of red wine before putting more clothes on to go to bed (winter sailing for you). The alarm went a bit too early the next morning but Kate was determined we were going to reach the start an hour early and I was greatly relieved that the fog had lifted sufficiently to see out of the marina and down the Southsea channel.

Rachel Hedley, 13.03.2013 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog

Fast Cruise #3 to Lymington

What was it the weather forecast said? Rain all day on Saturday, 8 knots of wind from the north west. Both bits were wrong, luckily in the case of the rain and unluckily in the case of the wind (although the strength was about right). It's a strange phenomenon of sailing that when you decide to head to Lymington from the Gosport area, the wind is nearly always from the South West and on the nose. Particularly if there is a strong tide running.

Rachel Hedley, 19.11.2012 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog