Racing Reports

Fastnet retirement

A 4mm hole was the main issue.

The tape on the Furler broke in 30kts off the Lizard so we went from 2 reefs in the Genoa to none in 2 seconds and had to pull down the Genoa then put up the HW Jib. The furler had been damaged at the start and we had repaired it, but it was slightly distorted and the tape had found a sharp edge. bringing up the HW Jib we found the forward sail locker had a lot of water in, as had the second sail locker plus small locker and cupboard.

The wind was forecast to get slightly stronger than the 30 Kts we had before decreasing, plus we had some wind against tide to come. After not initially finding where it was coming in (which meant we couldn’t assess whether it might get worse) it was obvious that further investigation to find the leak in the front end in those conditions was going to be hazardous.

The HW jib was slightly on the large size for the conditions plus the team hadn’t practiced MOB with having to pull down a sail. In big seas not enough sail is as dangerous as too much but we are also rated on only a single furling headsail so using the HW jib would mean retirement, though this could have been after finishing.

We turned into Falmouth and considered temporary shelter and returning to race but rejected the idea. One other factor I took into consideration was that we had trained for MOB with a furling headsail not with having to pull down a genoa.

Our initial attempts to find the leak involved plugging the Anchor locker scuppers then filling the locker with water and we found a small leak on a switch.

After sleeping on it we sailed to Fowey but water was still coming in and it wasn’t from the switch. The run from Fowey to Plymouth saw mainly our heroic Volunteer Tim, and to a lesser exent me, upside down in the forward locker plus hanging over the side. Eventually the cause became clear, a screw was missing from a scupper cover, the hole had been drilled all the way through the Hull so, when it went under the water in came the green stuff. We hadn’t been able to find it as it was in a gap of about 10mm between the Hull and the Anchor locker so very hard to see or get at from the inside.

Of our class of 54 starters 32 finished and partcicluar congratulations to Nimrod with 5 former Wild Spirits on board plus Kindred Spirit with 2.

Looks like I will have to keep Wild Spirit untill at least 2021 then I might retire properly.

My thanks to a great team on Wild Spirit truly a Unique blend of Age, Experience and Immaturity.

Cruising Reports


Here we are finishing Fastnet about 6 years ago. Race starts Saturday and you can follow us via

1 place left on the cruise out to the Isles of Scilly starting 14th August and one on the 7 day milebuilder starting Sunday 8th September.

Caribbean 600 in February now has just 6 places left on Juno a Farr 65.

Judith will be doing the admin in my absence and I hope to be home on 9th August.

Racing Reports

Rolex to go Green?

Picture of 2011 Fastnet team with Rolex Decal.

We still await the Sailining Instructions for the Fastnet. It will be interesting to see if we have to put on Rolex Decals this time. it matters not how well you put them on a small percentage will , at least in part, come off. Othe5 races such as 3 Peaks yacht Race have their smaller Decals above deck level and this year the Island sailing Club didn’t do them for the Round the Island Race. I can be as hypocritical as the next man but for this Fastnet all our team clothing is natural fibre.

Mile builder starts Friday afternoon so away until 28th July.

Racing Reports

Round the Island Race

Pic of us on the last tack before we finished. With over 1600 entrants only 283 finished in what was at times a frustratingly slow event. We finished with 23 minutes to spare and managed to grab a pint or 3 before closing.

The start was followed by a spinnaker run but then the wind dropped and didn’t blow consistently until near the finish. We have a couple of RYA Milebuilders coming up and the Mile building cruise out to the Scillies in August.

Course Reports

2020 Vision

Paul is skippering Spirit of Juno (picture Juno a Farr65) again for the 2020 Caribbean 600. Details will appear on OnDeck Antigua site soon or you can register your interest with us. we sold out well before the race this year and had to turn people away. Looks like we already half full (13/6/19) so if you want a place do ask for now.

Training starts 0930 19th February and for 2020 we have managed to secure a berth alongside in the World Heritage Nelsons Dockyard. Race starts Monday 24th and you are safe to book a flight out from Saturday evening 29th.

If you want to try sailing with Paul before booking we will take you on a Mile builder or Race training weekend or September race at normal price (from £195) but give you £150 off the cost of the C600 (£1950) when you sign up for the team on Juno.

Racing Reports

Till death us do part

Pic of us on our way to winning the 3 Peaks Yacht Race last year.

I will miss the 3 Peaks Yacht Race this year due to a family wedding but some former Wild Spirits plus former team members from Juno in the Caribbean and Helsal 3 from Sydney Hobart will be racing. Start is Barmouth on saturday evening and you can follow progress via with details about the teams on

Last year our mile building sailing was mainly in Scottish waters as we kept Wild Spirit in Troon before and after the race, this year our Mile builders are mainly cross channel or out to the Scillies

Racing Reports

Sunny Climes and Communications

Dolphins, but I can’t remember where. I have senn hundreds of them, probably thousands but they still fascinate me. I can remember lying on the trampoline of a Catamaran crossing the Atlantic and looking plus listening to the dolphins less than a metre below me as they watched me and made noises. I remain convinced they were trying to communicate with me. From Sunday for 8 days i will be at sea, hopefully seeing more Dolphins and definetly hard to communicate with. I will try and do brief replies to e-mails but not expecting much connectivity. Places for RYA courses, cross channel mile builders and mile building sailing are accurate as of 13th June so do drop me an e-mail and we can confirm the booking on 26th June before I set off for the Round the Island race with training starting 27th, this one is full as is the Fastnet but we do have places on other races and the race training weekends

Racing Reports

A Windy weekend

picture of Wild Spirit under just storm jib in a gale

We decided against racing in the Channel last weekend and trained in the Solent instead. We saw a gust of 47 Kts and several in the low 40s as we trained with various combinations of Storm and heavy weather sails before overnighting in Southampton. Of the fleet of 64 in the RORC race less than a quarter finished.

The cross channel mile builders are about half full and we have a few more enquiries. One question I am asked is ‘Where will we go?’ The answer is that the destination in the name of the trip is where I intend we should go and I have already looked at the tides. What I can’t do is predict the weather in advance and, rather like last weekend, I have no intention of setting off on a RYA Mile building sailing course across the channel when a severe gale warning has been issued.

Racing Reports

Caribbean 600 race on Farr 65

Paul has just agreed to skipper Spirit of Juno again for next Caribbean 600 race starting 24th February. Half the places in the team hace gone already to repeat offenders so do get in touch soon if you want one