Fastnet Campaign 2011

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Sunrise as we head out

April 23, 2011

A stunning sunrise as we head out for Cherbourg

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Enough to feed an army....?

April 21, 2011

Maybe not , but hopefully enough to feed the team for the weekend’s race

training :)

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Worse things happen at sea....

March 19, 2011

As part of our work up for the Fastnet, a percentage of the crew have to undertake Sea Survival and Heavy Weather Sailing training – because we are all literally in the same boat, we have our full team do this in the form of the ISAF Offshore Safety Course.

So, the team got together on the evening of the 18th for a beer or two (just to support the local economy!) and to get ready for the ISAF course on the following morning.

As if to prove “shit happens”, the pool sesion had to be postponed after a problem with the pool. Instead we have the classroom session under our belts and even managed to teach the instructor a thing or two about one particular “incident” courtesy of Rab – the skipper of the boat involved!

After that it was time for Man Overboard!! Now, most people practice the getting back to them bit, and with 3 instructors on board we ought to be OK at that, but what about getting them back on board the boat?

Out with the drysuit for Nige and on with the first problem – the suit actually belonged to Karen his wife! There being no way Nige would fit in the suit he had to sheepishly ask his Mrs if she would mind being the guinea pig? Karen took it in good spirits and we, of course, gave Nige lot’s of stick!!

After playing with it, we can heartily recommend the Mobmat as a way to recover a casualty from the water avoiding problems from hydrostatic squeeze by keeping them horizontal during the lift.

That evening he team descended on the Jolly Roger for dinner and more tall tales, and a confession……. Karen had actually checked the drysuit for Nige and not recognised her own suit, and that’s when the sympathy ended :)

On the Sunday we practiced hoisting storm jibs and trisails, before looking at how the emergnecy tiller works – and how we may be able to steer without a rudder at all. Be honest, how many of you actually have a go with these bits of kit? We have done maybe hundreds of miles with the trisail – it doesn’t need to be THAT windy before people start to worry about a crash gybe, but this is no drama with the loose footed trisail.

Next stop for the team is 4 days of training over Easter, going through the skills and drills needed to sail the boat offshore, and getting used to each other in general.


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The team made it to...

January 16, 2011

The team made it to the boatshow yesterday for our first get together. It was great to see the team together for the first time – and some of our shorebased supporters. The banter started to flow along with the Guiness, and continued through an excellent curry. Next stop? Sea survival in March….

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First in the race to the Fastnet?

January 10, 2011

If not first, then definitely in the top 25 or so! At 0001 hrs on the 10th January our place in the Fastnet was secured – the first hurdle to competing in the race ticked off.

“Just” Heavy Weather and Sea Survival Training, our familiarisation training on board Prime Evil, and over 300 miles of Offshore racing left to tick off before we can start the race itself.

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The Team.....

December 16, 2010

With all of our crew in place, it’s time to get this Blog on the road!

With 8 months to go, all of our crew are in place for next year’s Fastnet Campaign. RORC opens the entry list next month and just as soon as they do we will be paying our fees and securing our place.

So, let’s introduce the team, in no particlular order :-

Marc – a former Clipper Nav & Met Student, and crew on Jamaica, Marc is working towards his Yachtmaster, and looking at developing his nav skills during our campaign. Marc has yet to experience needed a sleeping bag while sailing having done one of the warm legs of Clipper!

Kirsty – a former Clipper Nav & Met Student, and crew on Jamaica. Kirsty is also working towards her Yachtmaster, an accident early in 2010 meaning she had to delay this until 2011.

Rab – “Big Rab” skippered one of the Army’s boat’s in the 2009 Fastnet, Rab has recently qualifified as a Yachtmaster Instructor and will be a great asset to the team.

Karen – a former Day Skipper student, Karen is Nige’s Mrs. She is looking to develop her skills on longer passages aiming to sail around Britain with friends in the not too distant future.

Nige – formerly known as “Big Nige” until Rab came along! Nige did the 2009 Fastnet with us and is looking forward to taking the competition to another level in 2011.

Emma – Rab’s girlfriend, Emma works for the RYA and is working towards her Day Skipper. The Fastnet is one of the big ticks on her sailing wishlist.

Dave – another ex-Clipper Nav & Met Student, and Clipper Race crew. Dave did the Round The Island Race with us prior to Clipper and is looking to further develop his skills during our campaign.

Damian – our biggest recruiter so far for next year’s Round The Island, Damian is looking to develop his skills throughout the campaign.

Helen – my other half. Helen did the 2009 Fastnet with Nige and myself. As well as knowiing the boat well, she will be keeping us well fed throughout the campaign – especially of the weather takes a turn for the worse.

John – our “Eleventh Man”, John is doing the Round The Island Race, and Morgan Cup with us, and is our reserve for the Fastnet.

Myself, John – playing the role of conductor and trouble shooter throughout the campaign. This will be my second Fastnet on Prime Evil. With new sails on the way and a great crew, I can’t wait to get stuck in to the 2011 Campaign.

Here’s to a Merry Christmas, and Safe Sailing and Fast Passages in 2011!



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Our mission....

December 10, 2010

…….to boldy go where only 299 other boats will be going in August 2011!

The Fastnet Race is one of the best known offshore races and one with a fearsome reputaion. Organised by RORC, the race has a strict limit of 300 boats – our first step is to get our entry registered just as soon as RORC let us in January.

After that our team will develop their skills aboard Prime Evil throughout the campaign. This blog is here to help friends, family and anybody else who interested follow our adventures.

The team philosophy is to "give crew the chance to develop their skills throughout he campaign, racing as hard as we can without breaking the crew or boat – and all wanting a beer together when we reach Plymouth.

Our plans for the campaign are :-

15th January – Crew Get Together at the Boatshow, our first chance to get to know each other, grab a beer and talk sailing.

19-20th March – Sea Survival and Heavy Weather Training – getting to grips with what to do should things take a turn for the worst, this is one of the most important bits of training we will do.

22-25th April – Race Training session – we will be sailing together as a team for the first time, getting plenty of practice sail changing, using kites and crossing the Channel.

30th April – 2nd May – Cervantes Trophy – our first qualifier from Cowes to Le Havre. We also plan to take part in the race back to Cowes weather permitting.

17-20th June – Morgan Cup – racing around marks from Cowes to Cherbourg

8-12th July – Cowes to St Malo Race – our final qualiier before the main event. We are hoping for a decent run ashore in St Malo – tt would be rude not to wouldn’t it?

13-21st August – The Fastnet – the culmination of our training, the race starts on the 14th then 608 miles later we finish in Plymouth.

Keep a sharp look out for us on the water, and if you spot us, do come and say “Hi”