Toolkit Web Designers

JMII scores 11th place overall

Monday, 17 August 2009

Young RYA crew pass Rolex Fastnet test with flying colours 

RYA Keelboat crew score 11th place overall

Preparation and teamwork were the key ingredients in the RYA Keelboat Programme’s successful Rolex Fastnet Race, according to skipper Luke McCarthy as the 14-strong crew reached the race finish in Plymouth on Wednesday night (12 August).   

McCarthy praised the spirit and commitment of his young team on board the RYA-run TP52 John Merricks II, most of whom were competing for the first time in the legendary 608-mile race which set off from Cowes on Sunday 9 August, arriving back in Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour via the Fastnet Rock off southern Ireland.  

After a tough first couple of days, battling with light winds and strong tides between Portland and Start Point, John Merricks II reached the fog-clouded Fastnet Rock on Tuesday evening, and then in contrast enjoyed a 15-25 knot downwind blast on the way back to the Plymouth finish, covering 150 miles between the Pantaenius Buoy and the Isles of Scilly in 12 hours.   

Although the crew of John Merricks II completed the race on Wednesday, the final overall finishing positions weren’t known until the weekend due to the handicap system and with boats still trickling home.  John Merricks II finished 11th overall – an impressive result given the relative inexperience of the crew.    

“Everyone is just over the moon to have completed the race,” McCarthy explained.    

“There had been some doubts during the season as to whether the boat would be fit enough to compete, but the fact that we’re 11th overall is huge testament to the crew and the amount of work they’ve put in over the season, and all the support we’ve had from various companies to enable this has been hugely helpful.   

“In terms of boat work, Phil Miller in particular deserves as much praise as you can give him, as without him the boat wouldn’t have gone sailing this season.”  

McCarthy concluded: “The atmosphere on board, the team spirit and work ethic has been incredible, and especially during the first 12-18 hours of the race which were tough going in the light and tidal conditions.   

“For all the guys the Fastnet Race has been a fantastic experience, and as a means to their future sailing development it’s stood them in excellent stead.”   

RYA Racing Manager John Derbyshire added:  “It’s a great result and has been a great experience for a very young team.   

“Our thanks go to the John Merricks Sailing Trust, who have made it possible to take part, and it’s amazing what can be done on a small budget with commitment and hard work.   

“Particular thanks must go to Luke McCarthy who has pulled the team together and I hope that this will be the first of many creditable events and campaigns that members of this crew will take part in – that is after all the primary purpose of the RYA Keelboat Programme.”    

Top of Page

[ Back ]

© Copyright 2019 John Merricks Sailing TrustWeb Design By Toolkit Websites