Fastnet

Moonshining

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Much against my better judgement, I've allowed myself to be press-ganged into crewing on my mate's First 34.7 for the Fastnet. Any advice on what to expect? It seems like a long old slog, so I'm not exactly thrilled by the prospect.

Anybody else doing it? Anybody else doing it on a smallish boat that's likely to take the thick end of five days to complete the race?
 

flaming

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Much against my better judgement, I've allowed myself to be press-ganged into crewing on my mate's First 34.7 for the Fastnet. Any advice on what to expect? It seems like a long old slog, so I'm not exactly thrilled by the prospect.

Anybody else doing it? Anybody else doing it on a smallish boat that's likely to take the thick end of five days to complete the race?


Have plenty of friends in the fleet, but no interest in going myself!
 

savageseadog

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Much against my better judgement, I've allowed myself to be press-ganged into crewing on my mate's First 34.7 for the Fastnet. Any advice on what to expect? It seems like a long old slog, so I'm not exactly thrilled by the prospect.

Anybody else doing it? Anybody else doing it on a smallish boat that's likely to take the thick end of five days to complete the race?

I've done it in 2013, the weather was relatively reasonable though. It is a slog of course. I would suggest making sure your sleeping arrangements are sound as one of our bunks disintegrated under load and the lee cloth arrangements were very poor which resulted in some very tired people. Keep the luggage to a minimum. We used ready meals by Wayfarer which were easy to heat and were excellent, same as used by the British Army.

We were on the waiting list for this year but were offered a place only a few days ago, too late unfortunately.
 

bitbaltic

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Much against my better judgement, I've allowed myself to be press-ganged into crewing on my mate's First 34.7 for the Fastnet. Any advice on what to expect? It seems like a long old slog, so I'm not exactly thrilled by the prospect.

Anybody else doing it? Anybody else doing it on a smallish boat that's likely to take the thick end of five days to complete the race?

I'm doing it on a 46 footer.... but quite likely to take just as long to finish as it is a Bavaria. Still, it has nice bunks, two heads, fridges, freezer etc so as ling as the weather is in it we should be allright! :)
 

Keen_Ed

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Nice thing about smaller boats is that you'll get to do all the jobs. Not like on a big boat where you're rail meat & 2nd assistant spinnaker retriever. How big the crew? 7 ? One nav( floating) & 2 watches of three?

If your oilies aren't in tip top condition, get new. Waterproof bag for your kit. Eye masks. Ear plugs. Wet wipes.

You have to get zen about it, and just enjoy it from moment to moment.
 

Seajet

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Tips from a friend who did it;

read ' Heavy Weather Sailing '

read ' Left For Dead '

Hopefully more applicable to your trip;

can't have too many small LED torches

Good book

WALKMAN RADIO with earpieces

Waterproof camera

Walkman Radio repeat !
 

tat27

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One other book if you can manage it before Sunday would be Fastnet Force 10 by John Rousmaniere (think I have that right...)

I would find out how much kit is expected/other people are taking - last time I did it in 2011 on a Swan 65, an email was sent out (that I fortunately missed) that the owner expected the crew to dress in DJs when rounding the Rock. I packed very light - one dry bag with no towel, 1 toothbrush and 1 shampoo sample. Other people brought wheelie bags on board.
 

Seajet

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That owner sounds like an optimistic sort to put it politely !

I might have gone with it, weather permitting* if I had a motorised revolving bow tie.

* Are Musto etc missing a trick with their ' Ocean ' oilies here ? :)
 

Woodlouse

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Tips from a friend who did it;

read ' Heavy Weather Sailing '

read ' Left For Dead '

Hopefully more applicable to your trip;

can't have too many small LED torches

Good book

WALKMAN RADIO with earpieces

Waterproof camera

Walkman Radio repeat !

Do Walkmans still exist? And really you shouldn't have time for a book, even a good one, during a Fastnet race. If you're not sleeping or eating you should be devoting your time to making the boat go faster.
 

Seajet

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The tips I mentioned are for 21st Century crew; it's different when I am skipper, even on weekend Solent trips, when crew have to check that they're gorgeous friendly females, THEN they needn't bother with a book but can keep the walkman on in case there's something important on the shipping forecast.
 

Woodlouse

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The tips I mentioned are for 21st Century crew; it's different when I am skipper, even on weekend Solent trips, when crew have to check that they're gorgeous friendly females, THEN they needn't bother with a book but can keep the walkman on in case there's something important on the shipping forecast.

I'm afraid if you're going to treat an ocean race as a pleasant cruise you might as well save on the entry fee and stop in studland or the West Country.
 

Seajet

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That might suit some, but no matter how hard I sail I like to sleep with a radio on, if in company an earphone job so as not to disturb others; it's 00:30 as I type to you and Radio 4 is on.

If I paid to go on a cruise ( which I don't think I could stand re boredom and feeling trapped ) I'd expect a crew member to fit my earphones with marshmallow padding or something and hold my book open turning the pages for me.
 

Seajet

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So may I suggest the much maligned Walkman radio or similar - you might well be the first to hear the Shipping Forecast, even if your boat has these fancy new-fangled Gribby wotsits.
 

snooks

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Make sure the boat has a spare gas bottle - and it hasn't been opened and someone replace the red collar. Cold food is no fun for 3 days.

Take a can of guinness to round the fasten with - it's the closest you'll get to a pint of the black stuff, and I know from personal experience there are some wonderful pubs in that part of the world, but it will be another day or so until you get a pint.

Don't worry about wash kits and towel etc, a pack of anti-bac wipes and a can of deodorant is all you'll use. Once you get to Plymouth you'll be in the bar at QAB then hopping on the train. You'll spot the Fastnet sailors on the train with ease: stubble beards, asleep with no one sitting near them!
 

temptress

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Much against my better judgement, I've allowed myself to be press-ganged into crewing on my mate's First 34.7 for the Fastnet. Any advice on what to expect? It seems like a long old slog, so I'm not exactly thrilled by the prospect.

Anybody else doing it? Anybody else doing it on a smallish boat that's likely to take the thick end of five days to complete the race?

Depends on why the boat is doing the race? For the challenge or to win? as someone who has completed 12 of these it can be thrilling or just wet and hard work - usually depends on the attitude of the crew. after the first 2 days you get into a routine and then keep going - in a small boat you want light winds out to the rock and then a ful on gale behind you to bring you home. Enjoy.
 

Swagman

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We were also on the wait list but a slot opened for us three weeks back, and jumped at it.
2013 was champagne sailing, and this ones looking relatively light but our routing models still indicate we will get back to Plymouth midday Thursday - same as 2013.
Only tips I can give are focus on direction, trim, and your competition.
Maybe log total mileage for each watch and make the guys who cover the least buy at least the first five rounds in Plymouth? Everyone's going to be pumped on day one, chillin in the middle, and pumped up heading for the finish. So maybe get the crew pumping mid race and you'll soon find yourself overtaking?
Ah...and enjoy. It's a privilege to take part.
 
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