Course Reports

Where are we going on the mile builder?

Where are we going on the mile builder?
A question I am often asked and to which I am tempted to reply, “Tell me what the weather will be”.
A quick look at the full programme page will tell you the destinations that seem reasonable to me and I check out the tides before fixing dates. But this is just one part of passage planning and there others. I know what Wild Spirit can do and what sails we will have on, for most of the areas we will sail in, I already know the ‘Safe Havens’ and the spots where wind against tide is particularly nasty.

On some RYA Mile Building trips I know several of the team and what they are capable of. This isn’t just their experience and qualifications, you can have lots of these, but not be much use at 3 in the morning because you can’t get up, or take half an hour to become fully functioning.
Age and medical conditions as declared on forms aren’t much of a guide, I have a 70+ regular who is more useful when it gets tough than some half his age, and Pete in our team that won the 3 Peaks Yacht Race is a Type 1 Diabetic. But on some of the Milebuilders all I know is what you have told me, and there may be secondary issue here in that you tell me you are a Coastal Skipper when you have just done a course with another Sea School but not taken the exam. More on this in another post.
Unless Brexit throws in a 3rd factor which seems unlikely as French Ports, Restaurants etc want our money, there are 2 other main factors left when we decide where to go on a Milebuilder. The first is what the team want to do, if 2 or 3 arrive and declare exhaustion from working too hard in order to be able to go sailing, a night crossing to Guernsey is less likely.
Finally the weather, we can sail in almost anything, the first picture shows us off Cowes in F8 with F9 on the way up from Lymington, the second shows us only making a few knots in the Bay of Storms in the roaring Forties off the South of Tasmania.

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