Raymarine electronics help Adventure plot best course to regain lost time after rescuing Koomooloo crew
The British yacht Adventure, owned by the Joint Services Adventure Sail Training Centre and crewed predominantly by members of the Royal Corps of Signals finished the prestigious Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race as the first UK yacht, and an impressive 5th out of her 25 strong division and 21st overall out of the 78 finishers.
The race, which started on Boxing Day in Sydney Harbour surrounded by thousands of spectators, was not without drama during the 628 mile course. The Adventure was instrumental in rescuing the crew of the Koomooloo, an Australian “icon” and a fellow competitor who became the victim of six metre waves and appalling weather.
Major Charles Roberts, the Skipper of Adventure from England to Hobart said, “We have done lots of training for these kinds of scenarios, mainly man overboard drills before we set off. The training came together really well and we did what any crew would have done”. The professionalism, calmness and teamwork of these British Army soldiers ensured that the crew of Koomooloo were safely rescued from their liferaft and onto Adventure.
After the rescue, Adventure continued racing, and was keen to make up lost time. Position reports were keenly plotted on the Raymarine Chart Plotter, which is the key to navigation on Adventure. This indicated that Adventure was still ahead of the fleet, but would have to sail hard as the winds were forecast to become lighter as the race wore on.
Royal Signals sailors hailed as heroes as they save lives and finish first UK yacht in 62nd Rolex Sydney Hobart race
Fortunately the wind came round to push Adventure towards the principle turning point on the course, Tasman Island. Running under her spinnaker, Adventure succeeded in holding off fellow competitors who were in close company throughout the night, leading to some close quarters sailing in pitch black conditions.
After sailing up Derwent River, Adventure crossed the finish line helmed by Novice 19yr old Signaller Ricky Griffiths, in a total time of 4 days and 6 minutes.
The Royal Signals crew, two civilians and one Royal Engineer started the race as unknowns in the Australian press, but with a mass of TV crews and newspapers on the dock waiting for the crew to land, there was no doubt that the British Army team had shot to the forefront of conversations overnight. Although overshadowed by the dramatic rescue of the crew of Koomooloo, the crew of Adventure sailed the yacht hard and accurately positioned her on the course to achieve an excellent result in this high profile race.
At the prestigious Rolex Sydney Hobart Prize Giving, the crew of Adventure were awarded the Polish Trophy for the yacht travelling from the furthest port to compete and the coveted Rani Trophy for the most meritorious performance as judged by the race committee.