Racing Manager Reflects on 2013Join the ASA Today

BRITISH SOLDIER UPDATE 2013

You will all be aware that the headline in 2013 was the replacement of the old British Soldier (an Archambault 40 Racer /Cruiser) with a new British Soldier, a J111 for which we are tremendously grateful to the Army Central Fund, the Army Sports Control Board and the ASA for their extremely generous grants. The new yacht is proving excellent; fast, fun and surprisingly robust. In her first season she’s had a busy and varied programme, including the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) Offshore Series, the Fastnet Race, Dartmouth Regatta and the Hamble Winter Series.

Our relationship with Toe in the Water continues and they had free use of the yacht during Cowes Week. We remain indebted to Fujitsu who continue as our title sponsor and have been so for the last 5 years. Without their support we wouldn’t be able to compete at the level that we currently enjoy. And they don’t ask for much in return; we organise for them summer and autumn regattas which are genuinely great fun and our Commodore, Maj Gen Bashall was the keynote speaker at their Command Board Study Day. We couldn’t ask for a better sponsor and I’m delighted to report that last night at the Admiral’s Dinner they announced that they intend to commit a further £80K over 3 years which is fantastic.

In 2013 the RORC Offshore Series was focus, with a number of inshore regattas (Dartmouth and Cowes) and the Hamble Winter Series providing ‘round the cans’ racing. Notable successes last year were:

a. RORC IRC Class 2 – 7th out of 102.

b. RORC IRC Overall – 16th out of 424.

c. Channel Race – 2nd place behind La Response.

d. RORC Offshore Series – winner of the Haylock Cup (best Services Yacht in IRC overall).

e. RORC Fastnet Race – winner of the Culdrose and Inter-Regimental Cups for fastest Services Yacht around the Fastnet Rock and overall.

f. Hamble Winter Series – 3rd in IRC2.

You will find the British Soldier Race Programme for 2014 at the bottom of the page. This year our focus should be on winning the RORC IRC Class 2 offshore season and the Haylock Cup, with a minimum of 5 races (with discards) counting towards the season’s trophies. The RORC highlights of next year will be the Round Ireland race in June and then the mammoth Round Britain and Ireland in August. In a break from previous tradition it is intended to enter the yacht in other ‘adventurous’ sailing activities, notably the Scottish Islands Peaks and the 3 Peaks Yacht races in May and June respectively. Both races combine mountain fell running with offshore sailing. Further, there will be plenty of opportunities for delivery sails which we intend to open up as adventure training expeditions to individuals and units. Not only will these be excellent sailing opportunities, but they will invariably help showcase the Army’s racing yacht and encourage more people to get involved. There will also be plenty of scope for inshore racing with events such as the Warsash Spring and Hamble Winter Series and the Scottish Series. As ever we remain closely aligned with Toe in the Water who will of course be granted use of the yacht for Cowes Week should they wish it. If you would like to get involved, whether that be as skipper, crewman or for unit adventure training, then all you have to do is complete the attached ‘Interested Crew Register Return’ and email back to me at racing@sailarmy.co.uk. Updates and important announcements can also be found on this ASA website.

In summary, it’s great to have a new rocket ship! Our commitment to a full and varied programme of inshore and offshore races has kept the Army flag flying and it has been particularly pleasing to win some inter-Service silverware in the RORC offshore series. However, we now need to build on that foundation and become more competitive within Class against our civilian sailing counterparts. With an extremely challenging race programme in place for next year, there should certainly be plenty of opportunity to build up the skill and expertise, as well as scope to recruit some new sailors/racers along the way.

That’s it. I look forward to hearing from you and please don’t hesitate to email or pick up the ‘phone should you have any questions or queries.

Tim Hill

Open the following spreadsheetBritish Soldier 2014 Year Planner

Offshore Racing Manager

Tim Hill Racing Manager for British Soldier

Lt Col Tim Hill
Tel: 01923 955337
Email: racing@sailarmy.co.uk