Course Reports

Ready to Go

After our cross channel RYA Milebuilder to Alderney, Weymouth, and Poole Wild Spirit was lifetd and scrubbed ready for racing–pic

Our next mile building sailing is on 20th July to 27th when we will cross the channel again. 2 regulars on board at present and a max of 6 when we are running a mile builder.

Cruising Reports

4 day mile builder to St Vaast

Pic of fastnet team at restaurant in St Vaast

We have a 4 day mile building trip to St Vaast starting Weds evening 15th May and coming back on the Sunday. max of 6 on board and 2 regulars already booked.

late addition to programme so only £245 but allow for a good meal or 2 out plus possibility of bringing some wine back.

As ever destinations are weather dependent but we lose less than one day a year of complete sailing to it.

Cruising Reports

October all over?

On our way to winning 3 Peaks yacht race 2018

October all over–traditional saying about hurricane season

Rumours that Wild Spirit and I may go our separate ways are true. From next December to about July 2020 I should be sailing slowly across the Pacific with Aussie Bruce and there seems little point in keeping a yacht in one of the most expensive marinas in the UK if I am not going to use it. This just part of the story, winning the 3 Peaks Yacht Race in 2018 was a pinnacle and from the top there is only one way. Having run Wild Spirit for 15 years I have made a lot of friends and contacts in the sailing world so I am wondering if anyone has any sensible suggestions for a way forward that doesn’t involve never sailing on her again. There seem to be a few options. My company owns WS so I could sell the company so she remains Coded and with a berth in Lymington Yacht Haven (waiting list). I could go for a Yacht fraction scheme but have no real knowledge of how these work plus live 96 miles from Lymington. Finally I could just sell her via a broker and accept their 5% fees through gritted teeth. This last option doesn’t appeal so much as I suspect that her new Carbon sails, Dyform Rig etc will not be reflected in the valuation. I also have a website, about 14 sets of Oilies and many spares which I would have to through in at well under their value. We have run on a ‘Not for Profit’ basis for about 10 years as once, whilst also doing some consulting, I did make a profit and had to pay Tax. Since then, most years we have given at least £1K to charity, but it would be wrong to think you could make a sensible living running her out of Lymington Yacht Haven. Probably looking at October —any sensible suggestions, do please drop me an e-mail at [email protected]

Course Reports

RYA Mile building trip to Alderney

Pic of one of our race teams in Cherbourg after a cross channel race.We have a max of on for Milebuilder sailing trips.

Alderney is one of our favourites for RYA Milebuilder courses and we often stop in to Cherbourg as well. It always depends on the weather plus team aspirations and strengths. Alderney can seem a bit daunting for those with limited experience as it involves gates, big tides and the Aderney Race. As well as miles and experience the RYA mile buildwers also give you the opportunity to be fully involved with passage planning and sailing Wild Spirit, a comfortable fast cruiser that won the 2018 3 Peaks Yacht race. Our Mile building trips normally include at least 2 Qualifying Passages for YachtMaster and often team members can skipper one of them.

Course Reports

Mile builder destinations

Pic of us in a restaurant in St Vaast–this is race team we only have 6 max on for Milebuilding sailing trips.

Where do we go to on Mile building sailing trips? Well it always depends on the weather plus team aspirations and strengths but we do have some favourite spots. One of them is St Vaast on the Cherbourg Peninsular which can seem a bit daunting for those with limited experience as it involves gates, big tides and things to hit. The RYA mile buildwers don’t just give you miles, they also give you the opportunity to be fully involved with passage planning and sailing Wild Spirit, a comfortable fast cruiser that won the 2018 3 Peaks Yacht race.

Course Reports

How many on a RYA course?

Picture is internal layout of Wild Spirit–with the table down it is 4 double berths.

When we get to 4 students on a RYA course we normally mark it as full. The RYA max is 5 and we might go to 5, if we do it may well be a regular who wants to build experience and this is a practice adopted by many schools.

Some schools advertise a maximum of 4 and this may be related to the size of their yacht. Think of the height of a half pint glass and a pint glass. By the time you take out fixed spaces such as the engine compartment the volume of a 40 footer is about twice that of a 35.

For RYA Milebuilders and our cross channel sailing mile building we normally have a maximum of 6 on board and this our preferred number if we are doing some night sailing.

Course Reports

Who is on the course?

Not the fella next to me in the picture (I am on right)

We like to get a mix on RYA courses and if we end up with 3 Day Skippers we normally won’t take a 4th as it works best to have a Comp Crew on board as well. Several reasons for this but the big one is that DS is a very intensive course and we want you all to pass. If we get one or 2 who need a lot of coaching over boat handling it starts to eat into the time available and it is a big syllabus to fully cover. The Comp Crew is more straight forward but we believe it is good for you to see what the DSs are up to as it is probably your next step in sailing. We prefer to have at least one DS with our Comp Crew as they should be able to keep a look out on day one and even Instructors have to visit the heads.

For RYA Milebuilders and mile building sailing trips we often have an experienced regular on board. We indicate where we are hoping to go but the aspirations and skills level of the team are important plus, of course, the weather.

Cruising Reports

Night Hours–what counts?

One of my Caribbean 600 team asked if all night hours at sea counted. My answer was ‘No, only those where you are an active team member’. So if you do a RYA Mile building sailing course with us the hours we sign off are those where you are up top, navigating or doing things down below. The number of night hours we do on a cross channel Mile builder trip will vary with team aspirations but we normally have at least one overnight crossing so you can understand collision avoidance and use of nav lights.

Cruising Reports

Nab Tower and back

Saturday 6th April sees our first race of the season out to Nab Tower which is East of the IOW. It is a JOG (Junior Offshore Group) race so always a fun event with good social scene as well but some really experienced opposition.

Our first big Mile Builder sailing trip is in May. Mile building sailing towards RYA qualifications such as YachtMaster is often confused with getting miles on delivery trips. We give all team membewrs the chance to be actively involved in the various aspects of planning and sailing the legs that make up the complete trip. This is so much different from a delivery where you may just listen to an engine for 2 days as you chug along under autohelm with the excitement of making a cup of tea from time to time.