27th May – Rotherhithe

13 days before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts

The Laurent Giles Vertue Mea V89 moored in Plymouth ready to start the Round Britain and Ireland Race

One would hope there is at least a little crowd to see off the competitors in this year’s Round Britain and Ireland Race, although it seems to be kept rather hush-hush by the organisers, the Royal Western Yacht Club. There is hardly a mention on their website and not a peep on their Instagram account! Surely a little photo isn’t too much to ask?

Why do I care about the race? Well, a very courageous Matteo and his loyal crew Mahoney have entered the race in a VERTUE!

The race is quite a challenge for any yacht but at least the fast tris and cats will get the hospitality hopefully laid on at the stopover ports, whereas poor Matteo and Mahoney stand a strong chance of arriving after the rest of the fleet have left!

So, if you are in Galway, Lerwick or Blyth please buy the lads a beer!

The race is no mean challenge. Sailing around Britain (and Ireland) when you can check the weather and hop from port to port is one thing, but this race is off the scale. For instance, the last leg is from Blyth all the way to Plymouth! What cruising sailor would do that in a 25ft boat without stopping at the Butt and Oyster for a beer?

Even getting to the start line from the East Coast has been a struggle for Mea, beating into strong headwinds which resulted in their mainsail showing unwanted signs of wear. In fact, Matteo was so concerned about the state of the sail that he sent out a plea on the Friday two days before the start for a replacement sail. Luckily I had a spare one lying in my garage which, with the help of UPS Expresss, managed to arrive in Plymouth on the Saturday just in time for the start.

…and they are off!
Photo by local Vertue owner Jon Dunsdon from aboard his Hippo.
So good of him to take the trouble to give Mea a great send-off

So, if you are in the crowd, watching the start, it’s not Sumara wearing its V198 sail number, but Mea whose real sail number should be V89!

You can follow his adventures on his excellent blog. Strangely there is no tracker on the Royal Western Yacht Club website but you can follow the race by downloading the YB Races app.

My friend Paul and Diana managed to take this picture of the start, I reckon that’s Mea just about to overhaul the lead yacht with the black sails.

And talking about daring dos in Vertues, I’ve heard a rumour that a Vertue is heading for Rockall this summer!

Are all Vertue owners completely bonkers!

2 Responses

  1. Thanks Alasdair for your support! Our race is a little thing with respect to your expedition(s), but it is great to see that it still fires the imagination, to someone. I hope it will just be a beginning.
    I am very proud to display your sail number, and looking forward to return the favour whenever I will be able to.
    All the best for your preparation!

    1. What a Hybrid name ‘SuMEA of Weymouth’ ?! 🤗😁🌊⚓️
      Go, girls, fair Winds Matteo, MEA & Crew!

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