Andy Wright is skippering a crew of students on a non-stop sail around the UK. Here he gives us an inside perspective of what’s involved.
On Sunday (24th May), my crew of seven and I set off from Dartmouth to sail around Great Britain, a grueling non-stop journey, 24 hours a day that will take us about two weeks.
Who are we? I’m Andy the skipper and the rest of the crew are students of the FdSc Yacht Operations course, at South Devon College’s Noss Marine Academy. And, we’re under no illusion – it’s going to be tough.
We’re aiming to be back in Dartmouth on our Sigma 38 – Aspiration – between the 7th and 14th of June.
Aspiration is no stranger to a challenge. She’s been raced by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward and King Constantine of Greece and has won many races under her former name, Yeoman XXVIII.
A plan was launched
Aspiration joined the Noss Marine Academy team in 2009. But after a refit this year we got to thinking: What if we were to complete a big challenge, involve the FdSc Yacht Degree students in the trip and promote the college and the yacht degree?
That’s when we decided to circumnavigate the UK and the planning began.
There are many pieces of the puzzle to put in place to ensure that when the lines are cast off, you have everyone and everything in order ready to go.
A maintenance schedule was drawn up for the boat, including any extras required plus her normal running equipment. Small things such as satellite phones needed to be acquired and larger items such as charts of the UK and additional electronics (AIS and Navtex) needed to be installed.
As well as the boat, the crew’s wellbeing is just as important. We need to make sure we have enough food and can store it properly; eight people for 18 days equates to a lot of food.
We also wanted to get local companies involved and look our best while we were on our adventure.
So we approached Saltrock who decided to sponsor us (thank you!). While yachting was new for them, it fitted into the lifestyle that their brand represents.
The crew not only looks smart and part of a strong sailing team, but the clothing will give us the best protection on those chilly nights ahead and the days when driving rain will come at us from all angles.
I hope you enjoy following our challenge. Not many people sail around the UK and very few people attempt it non-stop – if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Send us your support by following our adventure at www.liveadventure.co.uk. And check back in for our next blog on how we fared.
Andy and the crew.
SKIPPER ANDY AND HIS CREW LOOKING READY IN SALTROCK HOODIES!