News

August 18th 2017

Nottingham Army reservists sail in prestigious race

The Osprey's crew

The Osprey's crew

Local members of the Army Reserve have been making waves sailing in the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race.

Members of Nottingham based 162 Regiment joined colleagues from across the Royal Logistic Corps to take part in the gruelling 605 nautical mile race from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Plymouth via Fastnet Rock, Ireland’s most southerly point.

After starting the race on Sunday 6 August they sailed their 42 foot boat Osprey to the finish line the following Friday finishing an impressive 260th overall out of 340 competitors and 26th in class.

While difficult conditions left many competitors unable to complete the race, months of training following a rigorous selection process ensured the Osprey was able to finish.

The crew with the East Midlands RFCA flag

The crew with the East Midlands RFCA flag

The team was led by Major Bruce Spencer of 162 Regiment who said: “This has been an enormous challenge for everyone on board, many of whom have not sailed before; but with good training, great team spirit, grit and a can do attitude, we have shown the sailing world just how professional reservists can be.

“Passage across the Irish Sea in force seven gales was the most demanding part. It was tough with the constant demands to change sails while looking out for other yachts having had little sleep, but team work pulled through.

“We all knew our jobs and everyone did them well, even if a few experienced some sickness for the first couple of days. I take my hat off to the crew who were magnificent.”

Warrant Officer Class Two Pat Audas was the designated skipper for Osprey. He said: “What an amazing crew we had. They were tough resilient and above all a solid team working for each other all the time.

“The military training pulls people through wherever they are and whatever they are doing – They were awesome! “

Private Harry Davis of 162 Regiment, said: “It was an amazing experience to be part of a team that could operate easily in such outrageous and sometimes dangerous conditions.

“We heard that other boats pulled out because of the rough weather, but we pulled through and we did it together. I only joined the Army Reserve this year and what a fantastic year it has been.”

Lance Corporal Allison Bibby said: “What an experience – it was demanding, dangerous and exhilarating.

“There is no feeling like crossing the finish line after a tough race with an excellent team. We were all very tired at the end but we felt could take on any challenge!”

 

“The military training pulls people through wherever they are and whatever they are doing - They were awesome! “