ASA Racing Yacht BRITISH SOLDIERJoin the ASA Today

2015 has been another good year for British Soldier which has seen her once again scoop the Haylock Cup for the best Service yacht in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s offshore series, which has included the usual weekend offshore races, as well as the prestigious Fastnet Race.  Continuing the recent theme of adventure racing, a team from 1 MERCIAN skippered by Andy Hadfield came away with the Tilman Trophy and the Light Infantry Bugle in the tough 3 Peaks Yacht Race.  Our commitment to Toe in the Water concluded in Cowes after 8 years supporting them and we’re proud to have been their flagship over the years.  But the highlight of the offshore racing year must go the Offshore Racing team’s success in the Services’ Offshore Regatta (SOR).  After many years, the Army team finally beat the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force into 2nd and 3rd places respectively.  Well done to Henry Foster, Will Naylor, Matt Sargent, Stu Southwick and Mike Barham who skippered the Army yachts in that competition.  Despite the sunshine in Guernsey, it was hard fought, with some serious and challenging offshore sailing, but nevertheless the team pulled off a fantastic victory against some tough opposition.  And finally, Ex TRANSGLOBE preparation for individual legs and specifically Leg 5/5a, which included the internationally renowned Sydney to Hobart race In Dec 15, has been pre-occupying much of the offshore race team.

With over 4000 miles sailed in 2015 by over 80 different crewmen and women, which has included unit level expeditions as part of the yacht’s delivery programme, British Soldier is widely known throughout the inshore and offshore sailing fraternity.  As 2016 is a non-Fastnet year, which is traditionally less competitive, it’s the Army Offshore Racing Team’s absolute intention to win RORC overall and IRC Class 2; on two previous occasions we have come second in both classes, narrowly missing a Series victory by a handful of points.  By concentrating all out on the RORC season and with plans to compete in the Middle Sea Race (Malta), this will be our goal for 2016. 

Having completed her 3rd season since her purchase in April 2013, the yacht is proving remarkably robust and resilient; in part due to her excellent design and build quality, but also down to the sterling work undertaken by the Boat Captain, Major Will Naylor, OCdt Jack Beckett and their band of determined volunteers.  They have religiously maintained the boat to a high standard without the assistance of a permanent Boatswain, although the RACYC has kindly made available their Boatswain, Corporal Matt Cattell, to act as a locally based point of contact.  For a 7th year Fujitsu has continued to act as British Soldier’s title sponsor for which we are eternally grateful and this is the 2nd year out of a 3 year sponsorship deal.  Their sponsorship is very welcome, enabling us to continue to race and sail the yacht at the highest level at no cost to individuals nor units.  And sponsorship hasn’t included a single stitch of free crew clothing, but instead decent quality racing sails, running rigging, race entry fees and a multitude of other costs required to sustain a yacht and her 8 crew in all corners of the country.  As ever Fujitsu ask for very little, and as usual we’ve run for them 2 highly successful regattas in the summer and autumn which are always highlights of the season.

Army offshore racing goes from strength to strength and we’ve got some real talent, across all ages and ranks, that deliver some great results.  Attached is British Soldier’s Racing Programme for 2016 and the Interested Crew Register.  As ever, we’re always looking out for new sailors or bringing back those who have raced in the past, so regardless of who you are, either Regular or Reservist, and you just want to sail and race a fantastic yacht, then please complete the Interested Crew Register and return to the Army Offshore Team Captain, Captain Phil Caswell, who can be contacted at teamcaptain@sailarmy.co.uk.  Further, if you would like to see British Soldier take part in other races which we haven’t scheduled, or you’re a skipper and you would like to take her for a particular race or delivery, then you only have to ask.  Either give me a call or email me at racing@sailarmy.co.uk or get in touch with Phil.

I wish you all the best for sailing in 2016 and I look forward to seeing many of you out on the water.

 

See BRITISH SOLDIER 2013

 

Offshore Racing Manager

Lt Col Andrew Britton
Tel: TBC
Email: racing@sailarmy.co.uk

Offshore Team Captain

Maj Dave Murphy
Tel: 01264 886992
Email:  teamcaptain@sailarmy.co.uk

 

Fujitsu sponsors of British Soldier