Racing across the Channel

Racing across the Channel

In his next Great British Adventure, Pete Woodward heads offshore for a taste of yacht racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Over a hundred yachts jostled for position in the churning waters of the Solent, with sharp changes of direction and mere feet of clearance between boats. The sun sparkled on the rolling waters and sea spray flung from plunging bows drifted through the cockpit. A team of ten aboard 40ft Playing Around, skippered by Ken Docherty of First Offshore Racing, we eagerly awaited the radio signal to go racing.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club, of Cowes and London, has been the leading organiser of offshore yacht races since the 1920s and organise the world-famous Fastnet race from these waters in the Solent, as well as trans-Atlantic and Caribbean races. Today, our finishing line was the harbour entrance in Le Havre, on the northern coast of France, with a 160-mile zig-zagging route across the Channel to successfully navigate to get there. The race, the Cervantes Tro...

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