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Cruising & Racing

Members voyages

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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Early summer 2005 and I’ve spent a lazy day pottering around on our Maxi 33 ‘Kjempekjekk’.  Just two years ago Liz and I had been doing much the same sort of thing, completing preparations for some extended sailingrs_image001 and we were almost ready to go.  Although we’d signed up for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) we still harboured the thought that in due course we might prefer to head towards the Mediterranean.  Then our son Mike phoned to tell us that he’d just booked flights to St.  Lucia for himself and partner Hannah and they would see us there at Christmas!
August 5th 2003 was a bright and blustery day and we left to a wonderful send-off from family and friends; within an hour we were overtaken by a black thunderstorm and with lightning striking the sea no more than 25 metres from KJ’s starboard quarter we wondered what other new experiences our journey would bring!

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