Racing Reports

Fastnet 2021–Why we won’t enter


Pic of previous Wild Spirit Fastnet team leaving Solent.

We have had lots of good Fastnet teams, only one didn’t work out well, it is a race that is on many peoples ‘Bucket List’ and for a company providing ‘Pay to Play’ sailing it is a significant income.

For 2021 the Fastnet is due to finish at Cherbourg. This decision, taken by the managemnt at the Royal Ocean Racing Club, came as a suprise to me plus many other members, and I am one of the Rebels who called for an EGM and management review.

Whilst there is an arguement that finishing a course next to one of the busiest shipping lanes in the World at Springs, with up to 6 knots tide, is not very clever, plus another that the Fastnet finishing at Plymouth is part of the heritage of racing and should not be lightly altered, I am a rebel for a different reason.

Yacht racing takes money, it is seen by many people as a sport for the well off. I have never inherited any money and in my early years I lived in a Council House. Initially I worked as an EHO in inner City Sheffield but a combination of hard work and good luck saw me able to retire at 50, pay off the Mortgage and buy a Yacht.

Only through the investigative work of Profesor Motson, leader of the ‘RORC Rebels’, did I come to understand that the move to Cherbourg involves something I have no wish to be associated with. The RORC asks the Hosting Port for money to finish there. I know how much Plymouth paid but will keep it secret. I guess Cherbourg is paying more.

Go to either Plymouth or Cherbourg and you will soon be able to find people who need help with housing or health issues. My company runs on a ‘Not for Profit’ basis and I take no wages. Since we started in 2004 we have supported at least one Charity every year and, for the last 5 ‘Knoticat’, sailing for the disabled/ terminally ill based at Poole.

Whether Plymouth or Cherbourg, I want no part in diverting resouces for the Homeless and Sick to subsidise my yacht racing so we will not be entering the RORC Fastnet 2021.

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