As if the prospect of taking on the North Atlantic were not enough, I appear to have signed up for another sailing adventure and am mulling over yet another. Never content to just sit back, there’s always a new mountain to conquer right? (Well not literally, as I’m not all that keen on heights but you know what I mean. See, there’s a reason I’ve never posted pictures of me up the mast!)
2017 is the 50th Anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester completing the first solo circumnavigation of the world in his now legendary boat Gipsy Moth IV.
Launched in March 1966, Gipsy Moth IV was specifically commissioned by Sir Francis Chichester to be the boat he would sail single handed around the globe. Aged 65 at the time, he set out from Plymouth on 27th August 1966 and returned on 28th May 1967.
To celebrate this, the charitable trust who now own Gipsy Moth IV have organised a Round Britain sail – “Gipsy Moth Circles Britain”. Starting on the 24th May departing from Buckler’s Hard in Hampshire, ready for the first leg to start in Plymouth, the whole trip consists of twelve legs around the country with stopover ports.
I was lucky enough to get a place on the Hull – London leg. So in early July, will be sailing a piece of maritime history from the 2017 UK City of Culture, across The Wash, down the East Coast and into St Katherine’s Dock in London. About a year before I do it all again aboard a Clipper Yacht!
There are just some boats that really fire the imagination and the Gipsy Moth IV is one of them. Clearly I’m not excited about the prospect at all…..much 😉
I came home from my Day Skipper Course to find a little reading material had arrived!
Now you’d think getting a Day Skipper qualification, doing that, the Clipper Race and working towards Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster would be exciting enough for one (not terribly good) part time sailor?
Well it was until I started seeing adverts for the 2017 Fastnet Race. You know how it goes, you read the advert and think that “one day” it sounds like a really exciting thing to be doing.
Then you see other adverts, then you start watching YouTube videos and before you know it, it’s not a “one day” thing, it’s a “I want to do that right now” thing.
The Rolex Fastnet race takes place every other year, it consists of over 600 miles of offshore racing and is generally considered to be the most demanding and most prestigious of off shore races. It starts in Cowes on the 6th August 2017, with boats heading into the English Channel, then across the Irish Sea to head round the infamous Fastnet Rock, before heading back to Plymouth.
So of course it would be the perfect place to start practising for my Clipper leg, would be incredibly challenging for a still very novice sailor and would look very nice in my log book…..
The only issue being the costs involved. Considering that I’m currently paying £12,000 to Clipper for my part in that, an extra £4000 to do the Fastnet before then, might cause somewhat of an issue with the bank manager and my ability to feed my children.
So unless I win the lottery anytime soon, sell my boat, or one of my children, I’ll be looking for a sponsor with an adventurous spirit who likes slightly crazy councillors. What can I offer in return? To be honest, I’m not really sure yet. Anything from publicity to motivational talks. You tell me! So if you know anyone who might be interested – send them my way please.
So there we go, the future is bright – the future is aboard a boat, with the wind in the sails and water gliding across the hull.
Fair winds & safe harbour friends, till next time