Home is where the heart is

Another week, another mini race.

This time it is the UK mini Fastnet; we leave from Plymouth tomorrow, Eddystone lighthouse to Stbd, up to the Fastnet rock, back to the Connibeg light and then a final leg back to Plymouth.

565 miles, double handed of waves, wind tide and the ever changing face of the Irish sea; this will be a challenging course.

The organising club is the Royal Western in Plymouth and as ever they are making a super human effort to make this an event to be remembered.

If home is a place where you are always welcome, where people believe and support you in what you are doing and you can feel comfortable and relaxed then home right now is the Royal Western.

This my third consecutive year competing in a short handed offshore sailing event at the Royal Western and I do not know any club which does it better.

James Bremridge and his race committee have really understood the needs of a fleet of tiny race boats who have travelled to compete in this race, over half the fleet are foreign, most of them don’t have access to transport and all are on a tight budget and are used to camping in damp cramped race boats; there are trips to the supermarkets, advice on where to get spares or repairs or hands on help in the boat preparation.

The club doors are open 24 hrs – though any prospective robbers, don’t bother turning up in the middle of the night as you will encounter a whole club house full of mini sailors, camping out on the floor as a very comfortable and gratefully received alternative to sleeping in the boats.

This club is passionate about our sport, they understand how important and stressful the days leading up to a race can be, they want to see us race and succeed and they take an active part in our races and enjoy the organisation as much as the participation.

If home is where the heart is then it must follow that the heart and the home of short handed offshore and ocean racing in the UK is the Royal Western Yacht Club.

I guess I had better come back again next year……… anyone fancy the Two Star?

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