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.

Sailing Report

5th to Cherbourg

Pic is somewhere else and £25 off any event for first person to recognise Port. It shows what a harbour looks like with no breeze. At times in the Cherbourg race we had no wind at all but the sea wasn’t as calm as the picture and with multiple sail changes we made slow progress to Cherbourg and struggled against the tide to finish. But finish we did unlike half of the fleet who retired. A memorable JOG race with good party and meal out afterwards. If you would like to sail to Cherbourg on one of our cross channel RYA Milebuilders and have a good meal out then do give me a call. On mile building sailing trips we will motor if we don’t have wind.

Racing Reports

Nab Tower (and back)

Picture of us nicely powered up on our way out to the Nab on the first race of the season. We finished 11/21 which represented a good result for a team racing together for the first time, and for some of them their first race.

pic above is the rest following us back from the Nab to Cowes.

A great racing weekend though not much wind for the practice on Sunday. We run on carbon sails for racing and either Vektron or laminate for our RYA mile builder sailing. We carry a spinnaker on mile building trips and it gets used most times.

Course Reports

More Mile Building sailing

Pic from one of last year’s RYA milebuilder trips.

A few more milebuilder trips this year and a few less RYA Competent Crew and Day Skipper courses. Possibly a YachtMaster as several regulars are interested.

Unlike some sea schools our Mile building trips are not deliveries. The nearest we come to that is after the Fastnet when we start in Plymouth and end up at Lymington 10 days later having visited the Isles of Scilly, France and or the Channel Islands. Many of our Milebuilders include a night passage and depending on the team aspirations perhaps 2 or 3. Normally there are opportunities for those working towards YachtMaster to skipper a qualifying passage or 2.

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.

Racing Reports

Easter Rising

Pic of previous Fastnet team after race to Cherbourg

Our first big race is at Easter when we have the JOG Cowes to Cherbourg and return race. last year this was a very cold and often windless race with a high retirement rate. This year it is a morning start so we should be in before it has been dark for long. People often ask how long a race will take, it is hard to say, we have done the 75NM race to Cherbourg in under 12 hours but on one occaision we took almost 26 and crossed the finish line backwards on a slight tide and no wind.

It is a Fastnet year but we will still have several Milebuiders across to France, the Channel Islands and out to the Scillies. These RYA Milebuilding sailing courses are great for those working towards YachtMaster qualifications or those just wanting to build experience.

Racing Reports

Finish of Caribbean 600

Assuming all goes well, we should be finishing the Caribbean 600 race about now so a picture from a previous race as we near the end. After the caribbean our UK season really gets going with RYA courses, mile building sailing and Milebuilder trips including cross channel.

Course Reports

West Country Milebuilder

Pic of Plymouth as we arrived at the end of a Milebuilding sailing trip from Dublin in 2018 We have a Milebuilder out fo Plymouth in August this year. As ever with sailing things are weather depndent but we have enough time to go out to the Isles of Scilly and if things look go that is the most likely destination. Other RYA Mile building trips include France and the Channel Islands

Sailing Report

Experience v Miles

Picture shows us on a lovely day with just enough wind and the team are learning how to use a spinnaker. We are off the south coast of England having to work out the tides, ‘keep a weather eye open’, plan our days and think about where to go if it doesn’t all work out. In terms of a RYA Milebuilder probably 60 miles at most and you need at least 2500 before you can take YachtMaster Offshore exam. But they are 60 valueable miles and when we offer sailing mile building it is about developing you as a sailor. So whether it is a cross channel Milebuilder to France or the Channel Islands, or even just in the Solent we will help you gain experience and develop your sailing skills. Do you get this experience in an Atlantic crossing–more in a future post.