Entry to the Fastnet race is sold out with a record number signing up. 300 registrations were received in the first 24 minutes matching the number received in 24hrs for the 2013 race. RORC members were given priority so paying membership fees really does have a benefit!
Having secured entry to the race I’m now faced with a todo list as long as your arm. The process of Coding (bringing the boat up to safety standards for commercial use) last year was a walk in the park compared to the requirements for ISAF racing regulations!
Plans are coming along nicely though and the schedule for the campaign has now been published.
Of course safety is our number one priority and part of the purpose of the two training weekends prior to the first qualifying race will be to get the crew up to speed on all the safety kit. We’ll also be practicing safety drills such as Man-over-board. Preparation is key as in an emergency every second counts.
Safety, safety, safety:
The team have been booked on both the RYA Sea Survival & ISAF Offshore safety courses. These training days provide an invaluable insight into he reality of offshore sailing. With both classroom and pool based sessions, these are a real eye opener, most of us have never had to use a liferaft and the pool session provides as close to simulation as you ever want to get. RORC requirements are for 30% of the crew to have attended this training, however my view is that we all do it. It’s a great way of bonding the team with a focus on safety and working together.
AIS (Automatic Identification System)
The AIS kit is being installed today by Hudson Marine. Again a RORC requirement, however it also gives anyone the ability to follow our progress during the races. I’ll post a separate update on how you can follow us.
Boat’s generally coming together nicely though. Wheel’s off to be re-leathered, Engine service complete she’s looking pretty tidy right now. More stuff to do in preparation which should keep me out of trouble! And of course we’ve got the 6 Nations kicking off tomorrow night!