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Friday 21st February 2014

Need some inspiration to get back out on the water after a long, hard winter?

After coming to one of the Sailing Rallies’ Forums, sailors will be itching to get out and have those cobwebs blown away! In addition to the popular Transatlantic Forum weekend (5th-6th April), this year Sailing Rallies are running a one day Baltic Forum (26th April) for all those aspiring Baltic sailors. The forums are a perfect and affordable opportunity for all, whether planning to make a big trip this year, next year or even for those armchair sailors who have only just started to dream about venturing further afield.

Both events will take place at the Cruising Association in Limehouse basin, London, giving non-CA members the added opportunity of sampling the facilities available. Guest speakers for this year’s Transatlantic Forum include author of the Atlantic Crossing Guide, Jane Russell. In September 2012, Jane also became director of the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation (RCCPF). She completed a 5 year circumnavigation with her husband and can be frequently found sailing their 39ft steel cutter around the UK and further afield, along with their children.  Practical and extremely knowledgeable, a lot can be learned from Jane from a wide variety of aspects of life on board.  

Other topics to be covered include downwind sailing, communications at sea – provided by chief-geek Ed Wildgoose of Mailasail and Bob Smith of Yachtcom. For rigging matters, Sailing Rallies welcomes Hamble Yacht Services’ Rigging Manager, Dennis Fisher to offer his expertise. All-important yet less technical sessions will also cover how to be a successful fisherman (or woman), provisioning for ocean culinary excellence and keeping a happy ship. The folks from Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority will be there to provide an insight into their wonderful island and what you can expect from the Caribbean, aside from sunshine and rum!
In addition to this action packed schedule, Sailing Rallies are pleased to welcome back Mike Broughton as their weather and routing expert. Mike consults for the CCR and was in Lanzarote for the start in 2013. He provided detailed weather and routing advice, as well as daily weather reports to the fleet for the actual crossing. A pro-sailor always in demand, 2014 is no different and sees Mike racing on Jethou as navigator, the J Class yacht Velsheda and the Swan 82, Nikata whilst also fitting some sailing in on his own yacht Raven, a First 45. With an impressive 15 Fastnet Races, 9 Sydney-Hobarts and 16 Transatlantic crossings under his belt, it is perhaps an understatement to say that Mike has the experience to back up his wealth of knowledge!

Mikaela Meik, Events Manager commented ‘We had a great turn out last year for the Transatlantic forum, and we are delighted to be back at the Cruising Association for both the Transatlantic and Baltic Forum this year. It is a fantastic opportunity for likeminded sailors to get together and socialise, whilst also benefitting from the extensive knowledge that our specially selected speakers bring. The forums are designed to be informal and fun. So, as well as hearing from our experts, there will be plenty of time to quiz them on any specific questions about your boat, rig or chosen route. There will also be a variety of kit, charts, pilot books and literature available to buy at discounted rates on the day.’
Everyone is welcome and attendance starts from £25 per day, which gives fantastic value for money for the precious advice on offer. This includes lunch, refreshments (and home-made cake!). Transatlantic Forum: 5-6th April. Baltic Forum: 26th April. Please contact Sailing Rallies on 0845 257 5004 or to reserve a place, as spaces are strictly limited!

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