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Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier

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As at 1200 Sat

British Soldier crossed the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 1718:08 on Fri 22

Aug - an elapsed time of 11 days 08 hours 38:08 minutes.

The last day's racing was frustrating - the Isle of Wight took a long time

to round due to flukey winds and adverse tide, especially as we could taste

the finish! We were delighted to be met by Jed Cunningham on his RIB with a

Roger the photographer at Ryde for the final beat in, and they were kind

enough to stick with us for the long beat to the Squadron line, handing us

2 bottles of champagne immediately after the finish which were rapidly

dispatched!

We made our way to Trinity Landing where we prepared to come alongside a

pontoon crowded with people - little did we know they were there to welcome

us. As we neared, Relentless's crew gave a huge 3 cheers. The next 20

minutes was frenetic - Many photographs, handshakes and congratulations.

The CEO of J boats worldwide seemed interested to hear our tale and the

RORC team gave us a most generous welcome. We were utterly humbled by the

reception.

Most comments we received were along the lines of "only 5 crew, and in that

boat!" With Relentless's 10 crew stood around us, admitting the pressure

they had been under from us since seeing us sail straight through the gale

and emerge ahead of them on the west coast of Ireland, and hounding them

for 24 hours in the channel (they were nervously watching our speed which

at times was 2 knots greater than theirs!), it gradually dawned on us that

we had perhaps exceeded expectations. At the very least we had had the

race of a lifetime, certainly helped by the outstanding racing from

Relentless in those last few days and hours.

Saga finished around midnight and having already had a few beers we gave

them a raucous reception, and despite wanting to slip immediately for

Hamble we managed to drag them to the pub for "one drink"! Rare finished as

we slipped Cowes this morning and we paused to congratulate them. Never

mind 5 crew, double handing (with no autohelm since Scotland) is an

absolutely amazing achievement. Lula Belle was also on her way to the

finish line this morning- another inspirational 2 handed performance.

So a final thank you, for all your support and encouragement. It really did

make it easier to keep going knowing we were being rooted for!

Phil, Will, George, Joe, and Matt

RB&I 2014 British Soldier

------------------

some stats!

2nd in Class 2, 7th overall of 18 including 7 Did not finish

Distance sailed: 1981 nm

max boatspeed: 19 knots

Average boatspeed in the Channel: 9 knots

max windspeed: 45 knots

Sails used: every sail in the locker!

Mugs lost at sea: 3

Max heel: water halfway up side decks

Max buckets bailed from below in one sitting: 7

Most hilarious moment: Gorgeous George being hit in the face by a fish

Champagne drunk at sea: 5.25 litres

Most serious error of judgement: Will accidentally using the A5 spinnaker

as toilet roll

Most useful item we almost forgot: Ski goggles!

{gallery}2014-frog/frog-1409001479{/gallery}

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