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News - Latest News
20 Feb 2014

Our own Big Boat sailor, Liz Simons, sails into great results in 3 classic races.

SL272047a fastnet end

Whilst most of us have been sailing dinghies around our lake over the last 12 months, our own Liz has been competing in some world famous "Classic" big boat racing, ending up with some very impressive results.
 
First was the 2013 "Round the Island Race" in which she skippered a "Clipper" crew finishing in the top 30%.
 
Then she was in the 2013 Fastnet Race (Liz is centre front in the pic):
 
I was coach/trainer/navigator and first mate on a skippered yacht charter by the 'Old Boys' from Berkhamsted School most of whom had never sailed before this year.
The weather and sea state were perfect except for being becalmed north of the Scillies and rain approaching the Fastnet Rock. We sailed alongside the dolphins, basking sharks and orca whales!
We had a thoroughly enjoyable campaign starting with the sea survival course, the 4 qualifying races and ultimately the Fastnet Race.
 
Finally she has just competed in the Sydney Hobart Race with Robin Knox-Johnston (Liz is far left in the pic):
 
A world classic yacht race that departs from Sydney on Boxing Day. I joined the Clipper Round the World team on one of their two 68ft training yachts which are now based in Australia for training purposes. Sailing with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston as our navigator (with some help from me) we lead the fleet of 94 yachts out of the Sydney harbour (on handicap) and held on to a third place position until day 3 when the wind veered behind us and the lighter weight fleets passed by us! This was the first year that the Clipper Round the World included this race as one of race legs for their 12 new 70ft yachts. We successfully beat all bar one of the Clipper yachts over the line and all on handicap so great result something Sir Robin reminded all the clipper skippers off in that they still had plenty to learn from the clipper veterans. Our final position was 37th overall, a race which had all the elements from light airs, heavy weather and ocean swells in a 5 day period.
 
So just think, there is much more to our great sport than battling around the course at Staunton Harold....though she does a lot of that as well!