So last weekend Venomous’s Fastnet Campaign took off with a vengeance with the Royal Ocean Racing Clubs’ Cervantes Trophy to Le Havre. Our crew consisted of enthusiastic amateurs all anting to take part in the Fastnet race in August. To do this, both crew and yacht have to qualify by taking part in at least 3 offshore races. So it is quite important for us to complete the Le Havre race as it is one of our qualifying races for the Fastnet.
The weather forecast was for wet and windy conditions with a very changeable weather pattern. The course of 135 miles took us out through the Needles channel down to the DZ buoy off of Anvil Point, in Dorset and then across the channels to Le Havre. From Cowes to the Needles was a Spinnaker reach with some exciting moments squeezing through the Needles channel, then a run down to the DZ buoy. Once rounding the buoy in a very strong west going tide, it was a 90 mile beat in 25 knots of a south-easterly wind. Venomous enjoyed these conditions with a full main and No 4 jib, however the crew did not enjoy the heavy rains that came along with it! We arrived in Le Havre in the early hours of Sunday morning. The race was a good opener to the season with conditions that we may experience on the Fastnet Race.
For the whole race we had on board a BBC cameraman and assistant who were recording our highs and lows of an offshore yacht race for a programme called ‘Channel Watch’. This programme is scheduled to be broadcast in December of this year.
We were very happy with our result as we were third to finish over the water behind 2 open 60’s which rate much higher than us and we also beat them on handicap.
We cruised home with an exciting reach back to the Solent where the debrief of the race took place in the Pub.
We are now looking forward to our next race which is 23 May – Eddystone Race.
If you would like to read a more general view then the Royal Ocean Racing Club have a full race report – (which we are mentioned in)