Fastnet Race 2005
In 1991 Barry Page, the personal manager of one of the Balfour Beatty
companies, suggested a team entered the Industry Sailing Challenge, a
race twice round the Isle of Wight. From then on a varying group of
sailors, employees of Balfour Beatty and friends, has sailed in many
different events. In the last couple of years some of us who have been
doing a few cross-Channel races contemplated doing something a little
more ambitious -- the Fastnet Race, probably the most famous yacht race
of all. Also the most infamous because of the unprecedented storm that
struck during the 1979 race when 15 people lost their lives and five
boats were sunk. Thanks Barry.
Pip - Marc - Philip|
Trevor - Stefan
Two of the team, Philip Pascall and Richard Hope, are employees of
Balfour Beatty Capital Projects Limited; Marc Gosling is Purchasing
Director with Haden Building Management Limited (another Balfour Beatty
company); Trevor Powers is commercial advisor to a company in which
Balfour Beatty has a shareholding; Stefan Reinsberg is the partner of
Lisa Brown who used to work for Balfour Beatty; and Pip Tagg is a friend
of Philip's from Itchenor Sailing Club.
Diana Kay joined us for the
St Malo race
(having done the same race with us last year, a good test as we had a
Force 7 wind on the nose). We must have been on our best
behaviour because we are delighted to report that Diana has
decided she will do the Fastnet with us too.
We have a clear philosophy: We are doing it because we enjoy it.
Hopefully we won't need to remind ourselves too often of the latter.
We also felt we wanted to give our participation a greater purpose by
raising sponsorship for a deserving cause. That fits in well with
Balfour Beatty's support this year of the Marie Curie Cancer Care fund.
Balfour Beatty will match the funds raised by employees up to £250
each. We do hope you will show your support for us by
to Marie Curie. We intend to
raise a substantial sum for this valuable cause.
- Philip Pascall (skipper)
- Having sailed a Contessa 32 and a variety of other boats in
the Solent and Channel areas for many years, I've often thought
about doing the Fastnet Race. It's great to have met up with a
complementary group of people to make this possible. The race is
demanding, even in the planning (effectively started in mid-2004
and encompassing chartering and preparation of the boat,
navigation, provisioning and much else besides), let alone the
race itself. Stories of the 1979 race made a powerful impression,
reinforced by 'Fastnet, Force 10' by John Rousmaniere which I have
just been reading. It should put anyone off really -- but I am
reassured by a professional navigator, Mike Boughton, who says
"the Fastnet is a light weather race", and I am relishing the
challenges of finding the best way around the 608 mile course, a
bit more than most of the races I sail as 'my other boat' is an
- Marc Gosling (watch leader)
I began sailing when at six and have sailed anything that I can get my
hands on since. The majority of my sailing has been in a competitive
environment in both dinghies and big boats. I joined up with Philip and
the Balfour Beatty sailors in 2002 for the RORC Dinard/St Malo race
which proved both a successful and enjoyable experience which we have
repeated in both RORC races and "round the cans" in the Solent many
times since. I completed the 2001 Fastnet and am looking forward to
rounding the Rock again.
- Richard Hope (main sheet trimmer)
I started sailing at the age of six and mostly in trapeze-type dinghys,
until a severe motor bike crash in 1985 left me with a two inch shorter
right leg and osteo-arthritis in the right knee. Since then I have sailed
Flying Fifteens (twenty-foot racing keelboat) and in 1998 I was invited to
be a member of the GB team for the World Championships in Australia.
Unfortunately, a few months prior I was diagnosed with tongue cancer and
could not compete. Since the removal of my tongue six years ago, I have
wanted to do something that I was capable of doing (running, cycling or even
walking long distances being impossible due to right knee) but was still
challenging. So to do the Rolex Fastnet Race is the ideal opportunity to
raise money as well as fulfilling a lifetime ambition.
- Trevor Powers (navigator)
- My sailing experience is from a traditional grounding in
Mirror, Enterprise and Laser dinghies, and later to Hobie cats.
Then travelling with my work in Europe and beyond gave me the
opportunity to sail racer/cruisers in north Africa, the Balearics
and the west coast of France, before skippering a series of
Mediterranean leisure and delivery cruises in Greece, Turkey,
south of France & Italy. I have abandoned (for the time being)
the 'fair weather' sailing days to take up the challenge of
English cross Channel races, and the ultimate challenge of the
- Stefan Reinsberg (foredeck)
- With mostly dinghy sailing
experience, I wanted to try some big-boat sailing. In 2004 I was
lucky to meet the current crew of Me'Julie and get the
opportunity to take part in the Fastnet Race. I am fascinated by
wind, water and sails and am looking forward to sailing non-stop
to the Fastnet Rock and back.
- Philip Tagg (helm & tactician)
I started sailing in Fireflies at a very early age, and sailed in
my first championship at 13, later gaining my 'Blue' Team Racing
in Larks at University. I was 420 National Champion in 1978 and
competed in the 420 World Championships in 1979. As a member of
the British Olympic squad from 1979 to 1984, I raced 470s in many
International Regattas, World & European Championships.
Recently I have been spending a bit more time in 'big boats',
ranging from a J24 to a Volvo 60 in Round the Island races and
various Channel crossings. I joined Me'Julie for the Hamble and
Warsash winter and spring series as well as the Morgan Cup and St
Malo races as a build up to the Fastnet Race. I'm particularly
enjoying the use of technology to obtain weather data for routing
along with good old fashioned seat of the pants sailing. Like
Philip, my other boat is an RS200.
- Diana Kay (sheet trimmer)
My first experience of sailing was in March 2002, and I was
immediately bitten by the sailing bug. I took part in my first
regatta a month later, and have been racing regularly ever since,
mainly "round the cans" including Tobago Week in 2003 but also a
couple of cross channel races and the ARC transatlantic race in
2004. I first raced with Philip in 2003, and I'm delighted to be
part of his Fastnet team. Unlike Philip, I won't be reading
'Fastnet, Force 10' until I'm safely back on dry land! (In case
you're wondering, I'm not trimming the sheets in this picture
but checking reception on the mobile 'phone for picking up grib
files and sending our position reports.)
$Date: 2005-08-05 22:53:30 +0100 (Fri, 05 Aug 2005) $