Calling all emergency services personnel!
Ever heard of the UK Fire Services Sailing Challenge? Us neither, but it sounds like a brilliant event, for an even better cause! So we highly recommend reading our flotilla sailor Martyn’s story – from tiller flotilla to gin and tonic spiller!
Our first ever sailing experience
So, me and the missus had our first ever sailing experience last year, with a tiller flotilla out of Lefkas on board a fabulous little Jag 27. We came home, thought about it for all of 60 seconds and booked again on the One Week Kefalonia Flotilla this year (2016).
From G&T sailing to racing!
I did feel some more technical knowledge would be useful, so I got a place on ‘London 1’ one of the racing yachts taking part in the UK Fire Services Sailing Challenge. This runs every year in April and comprises 3 days of racing in the Solent. It's open only to members of all the emergency services, and crews are a mix of pros and not so pros.
I had the most amazing experience - terrifying and exhilarating in equal measures - and felt privileged to be in the company of a very experienced crew. This was the polar opposite to G and T sailing - high octane and high pressure at times but an unbelievable experience.
The UK Firefighters Sailing Challenge was first run in 2003, in recent years other 'blue light' services have joined the race, they have Police, Ambulance and the odd Mountain Rescue crew thrown in. On the first day there are 4 races with an overnight stay before moving onto the second day with another 4 races. At the end of the event there is a dinner for all the crews to get together and compare their experiences out on the water.
Next year (24th -27th April 2017) they’re looking for more boats to take part (there were 24 this year) so if you're interested in putting together your crew, have a look at the link below. There will be a crew wanted page online soon. Substantial donations are made to charity from the event so it is all in aid of a good cause!
Click on the link below for all the information you need for putting together your own team or just supporting the cause.