Fastnet Race 2005

The Team

Pip - Marc - Philip
Trevor - Stefan
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.

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 giving generously to Marie Curie. We intend to raise a substantial sum for this valuable cause.

Crew members

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 RS200.

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 Rolex Fastnet.

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) $