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
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
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
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!