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Cervantes Trophy

Moonshining

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11 May 2005
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Surrey, UK
I seem to have got myself press-ganged into crewing on a First 34.7 heading for Le Havre this coming weekend.

I've only ever gone round and round buoys in the Solent before. Anyone any advice on what to expect when racing further afield?
 

Alan ashore

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16 Oct 2012
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Teddington
A couple of suggestions:
1) Make sure you get to the boat in plenty of time!
2) Ask the skipper now what his plans are for watchkeeping/sleeping, so your expectations are managed. You may just be expected/allowed to catnap on the rail, or not, or you may get some time below.
3) Avoid the frequently witnessed mistake of getting unecessarily wet early in the race. Get your waterproofs on, ankles wrists tightly fastened before the start! (Or at any rate before you leave the Solent).
4) Things to keep on your person at all times: a) a waterproof torch, b) gloves, c) earplugs if any proper sleep in a bunk is on the agenda, d) solar protection (hat, buff etc, + sunglasses), e) a knife.
5) Assume that you will be expected to pay an equal share of all the direct marginal costs of the weekend - fuel, food, etc etc. If it turns out that you are not, lucky you, but a crewmember who expresses shock and offence at being asked for some dosh is a true PITA.
 
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AIDY

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19 Jan 2004
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Muckle Flugga
Enjoy... Expect no sleep and plenty of booze... Are you stopping.... Most just turn round and come back.
 

Talulah

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I assume this is a Fastnet qualifier.
The downside is that on a 34' boat you're likely to be one of the straglers. You'll miss all the celebrations and prize giving. You may get a couple of hours ashore but then it's back on board for the return.
Take ear plugs.
I find disposable hand warmers really good plus no alcohol on board.
 
Last edited:

Moonshining

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Joined
11 May 2005
Messages
3,674
Location
Surrey, UK
I assume this is a Fastnet qualifier.
The downside is that on a 34' boat you're likely to be one of the straglers. You'll miss all the celebrations and prize giving. You may get a couple of hours ashore but then it's back on board for the return.
Take ear plugs.
I find disposable hand warmers really good plus no alcohol on board.
I did wonder about that. I asked if there was a likelyhood of beer at the other end and the answer was pretty equivocal. I guess I now know that we'll probably be heading straight back without even needing to get the passports out.
 

Pinnacle

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6 Jan 2006
Messages
5,201
I think this weekend you should go with the expectation of being rained upon - for most of the way there and back.
 

Moonshining

Active member
Joined
11 May 2005
Messages
3,674
Location
Surrey, UK
A couple of suggestions:
1) Make sure you get to the boat in plenty of time!
2) Ask the skipper now what his plans are for watchkeeping/sleeping, so your expectations are managed. You may just be expected/allowed to catnap on the rail, or not, or you may get some time below.
3) Avoid the frequently witnessed mistake of getting unecessarily wet early in the race. Get your waterproofs on, ankles wrists tightly fastened before the start! (Or at any rate before you leave the Solent).
4) Things to keep on your person at all times: a) a waterproof torch, b) gloves, c) earplugs if any proper sleep in a bunk is on the agenda, d) solar protection (hat, buff etc, + sunglasses), e) a knife.
5) Assume that you will be expected to pay an equal share of all the direct marginal costs of the weekend - fuel, food, etc etc. If it turns out that you are not, lucky you, but a crewmember who expresses shock and offence at being asked for some dosh is a true PITA.
Oh boy - so not a deal of sleep to be had from Saturday morning through to Monday morning, then, plus cold and wet.

What have I let myself in for??
 

Talulah

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27 Feb 2004
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West London/Gosport
The problem with being on a small boat is you miss all the tidal gates.
You end up battling the tides where as the proper race boats have already made the mark and are now heading across Channel.
Due to missing the tidal gates you end up taking forever.
 

Twister_Ken

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31 May 2001
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'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings
Oh boy - so not a deal of sleep to be had from Saturday morning through to Monday morning, then, plus cold and wet.

What have I let myself in for??
You can sleep on the way back - well someone can.

Usually on the way back we'd be in cruise mode with all the crew but two snoring below. The on-watch guys give them a nudge when it's their turn for Zs.
 

MissFitz

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18 Apr 2008
Messages
688
Location
Brighton
My other top tip would be to cram in as much food (especially carbs) in the 24 hours before as possible. What with the excitement of getting to the start, & then manoeuvring out of the Solent, it can be well past lunchtime before anyone mentions food - particularly as lots of skippers (& some crew) seem to be able to survive on air. This is particularly trying if you (as I do) suffer from seasickness, which is much worse with an empty stomach.
 
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