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Cruising & Racing

Members voyages


by Guy Warner
bluedemon_sm.gifI bought my Maxi 1100 Blue Demon new last year and specified a number of cruising gear items that added weight – eg extra tankage, batteries, cupboards & fridge.
It was perhaps not surprising that our results in the RSYC’s two-handed races were poor.   A longer race was needed to show Blue Demon’s true potential and so, rather rashly, I entered the RWYC two-handed RBI – clockwise from Plymouth leaving Great Britain & Ireland to starboard (except for Rockall) with 4 compulsory 48 hour stops at Kinsale, Barra, Lerwick & Lowestoft.   A 300M qualifier had to be completed by 1 May.   Suitably chastened by the roller coaster experience in a F6-8 but heartened by the superb performance of my co-skipper Nicki Crutchfield, Blue Demon duly arrived at Queen Ann’s Battery Marina on Tue 6 June to prepare for the start at noon on Sun 11 June.
 There were 40 entries ranging from lightweight catamarans/trimarans, through Open 40s and J109s to a few souped up cruising yachts.   They all had one thing in common – they were light and fast.

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Double Handed Round the Island 2004 with all 10 nails in tact!

By Jean Findlay – Superted IV

Bereft from the loss of his crew to Laser sailing and suffering from racing withdrawal symptoms, Matt suggested we should enter the Royal Southampton annual double handed Round the Island Race. Against my better judgement and with a promise of no ranting and raving, I agreed. (In 20 years of sailing I’ve never seen the back of the Island so was looking forward to seeing all those lovely places).

Thursday saw me preparing, not for the race, but for our daughter’s graduation on Friday. As I’d not been anywhere near the boat for 2 weeks, I actually had reasonable nails so thought I’d make the best of them .. 2 coats of base polish and 3 coats of clear top coat – and very nice they looked too! (No bruises on my legs either)! A long drive to York that afternoon and then a long drive back again on Friday evening didn’t leave me much time to think about the impending race. Finally got to Cowes at about midnight Friday and crashed out.

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In August this year, father and son Matt and Matthew Findlay took part in the Rolex Fastnet race in their Maxi 1100 Superted. The race was the culmination of a great deal of preparation which involved completing RORC offshore qualification races, meeting the strict offshore special safety regulations, as well as preparing the boat and crew for five days of non stop racing.

The end result was very satisfying, not only in achieving our goal of competing and finishing, but finishing second overall in the two handed division, and third overall in class two.
Superted crossing the finish line of the 2003 Fastnet race
2nd Two Handed Division and 3rd  overall in Class 2

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Round Britain with Moonshine

Read John Hooper’s account of his voyage in his Maxi 1100, summer 2006


uk-moonshine-ports2Five years ago I was fortunate to be invited to crew on a friend’s yacht from Peterhead to Oban through the Caledonian Canal.  This was a memorable and enjoyable experience which gave me my first taste of sailing in Scotland and which I was determined to build on.

Having done the Canal, as crew, I was keen to see if I could go right round the top, as skipper, and started to make my plans with that in mind.  The pilot books do their best to make the Pentland Firth and Cape Wrath seem as frightening as possible but it became clear that the Summer months provide reasonable periods of calm enough weather if one is lucky.  The key lies in getting the tides right and, for the Pentland Firth in particular, it’s best by far to tackle it at neaps, as Spring tides can run in excess of 8 knots.  Provided there’s an absence of fog and winds are less than F4 there shouldn’t be too much of a problem…We set off from Harwich on June 5th, which allowed us 12 days to get to Wick, the jumping-off point for the Firth, neap tides starting on 17th.  If the weather turned foul before we got there, we’d go through the Canal, making our decision at Peterhead.  In the event, when we got to Peterhead, conditions looked pretty stable and we had a good passage across the Moray Firth, arriving at Wick in late afternoon on the 14th.  In fact, winds were so light that we had to motor most of the way. Continue reading


When I started planning in November 2003, it soon appeared there would have no shortage of volunteer crew for a Baltic cruise: “Put us down for St.Petersburg” was the frequent response.
I considered the option of leaving the boat in the Baltic over the Winter but, just in case I changed my mind, detailed planning was based on a 3-month trip.  All the pilot books seemed to say the same thing: the Baltic season is short – consider June, July and August as comfortable.  So I started filling in the likely passages and matching them with possible crew-change ports, courtesy of Ryanair and EasyJet.  Rather like compiling a crossword from scratch.
moonshine in baltic3_638

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