It’s hard to believe this is our 7th year racing around the Isle of Wight. This year we’re racing on a 37′ Beneteau Oceanis ‘Avant Garde’ .
Paul Blacknell – Skipper
I caught the sailing bug in 2010 and have grabbed every opportunity to sail since. Soon after my family trained as Competent Crew and we bareboat chartered in the Ionian islands in 2011 having an outstanding time and in Croatia in 2014. I’ve crewed in all the Round the Island races since 2011 and vow to enter in each of my remaining years. I’m a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore.
Pete ‘The Knot’ May – First Mate
Likes to think of himself (that’s him on the left) as a really good ‘natural’ sailor, who could have been in the Olympics if he’d taken it up sooner – or wasn’t so well packed with ballast. When not sailing, he’s busy day dreaming about sailing and fantasising about his abilities thereof.
Sailing history – several bare boat trips to Turkey – generally what lacks in wind is made up for with Raki and diving off the bow into gorgeous blue waters. Has also chartered several boats on the Solent, including skippering around the island in May 2012 and aboard his own restored Cutlass 27 in 2016.
Sailing ambitions – Given the massively boosted confidence in Windchat following her incredible ability in the high winds and big seas of the 2016 RTIR, to sail further afield in her, hopefully soon with his first mate (pictured). Generally mucking about on boats as much as possible. Writes occasionally on this blog
Andy Keleher – Crew
I caught the sailing bug about 5 years ago after a recommendation from a friend. My wife and I really got into it at the time, and passed as Day Skippers within the year. We then spent a summer bareboating in Greece and loved it.
Five years on and we now have 2 daughters. Family life packs the weekends full, and we don’t get to sail as much as I’d like at the moment. However, RTIR is the exception! This will be my fourth RTIR and my only time sailing since last year’s race. Looking forward to getting back onboard with the familiar crew and beating Nomad just once!
Looking to the future, we do want to make sailing part of family life. And once the girls are competent swimmers, we’ll be back out there at every opportunity. And the annual RTIR helps to keep the dream alive!
Wayne Lloyd – Crew
I’ve loved the sea and boats from a young age and was fortunate enough to buy my first boat in my early 20’s. Unfortunately, it was a motor yacht…cue shaking of heads and constant tutting (I was young – give me a break!!!).
I was always keen to start sailing but never found the time to begin my learning journey. It took till 2011 when I was actively looking for a getaway from work when I bit the bullet and embarked on my day skipper. I’ve loved every minute since then and I find it one of the few times when I’m forced to switch off from the daily rat race. This is my 4th RTIR and I consider it one of my highlight weekends of the calendar.
I’ve been fortunate enough to sail with all of the crew on-board this year on various different trips over the years and in this race previously so we all know exactly what to expect from each other. Predominately this will be extreme criticism, inappropriate humour along with large doses of sarcasm. I Can’t Wait!!!
Bob Munday – Crew
Got the bug whilst traveling in Australia and spent far longer than planned in the Whitsundays sailing retired Maxi yachts in a truly stunning environment whist allegedly working.
Recent experience is a little closer to home having qualified as Day Skipper in the Solent and subsequently enjoying many bareboat charters and weekend trips in the Solent and along the south coast.
Really looking forward to my RTIR and beating the time set in 2012. My ambitions are now simply to somehow find more time for sailing…