Fast­net his­tory for Lon­don school­boys

Yachting Monthly - - NEWS -

A crew of school­boys from Lon­don has made yacht­ing his­tory as the first state school to com­pete in the Fast­net Race.

Eight pupils from Greig City Academy raced a re­stored 45ft Ad­mi­ral’s Cup yacht around the 603-mile course from Cowes to Ply­mouth via the Fast­net Rock off the south­west tip of Ire­land, fin­ish­ing in a time of four days, 13 hours and 59 min­utes, 36th in the IRC 3 fleet and 142nd out of 368 com­pet­ing yachts.

The school­boys from Greig City Academy in Hornsey, north-east Lon­don, were rac­ing Scaramouche, built by Palmer John­son in 1981 for Chuck Kirsch to race for the USA in the Ad­mi­ral’s Cup. The school ren­o­vated the rac­ing yacht with spon­sor­ship funds raised by the pupils.

The project was the brain­child of ge­og­ra­phy teacher Jon Holt, who started tak­ing his pupils sail­ing in Poole Har­bour sev­eral years ago. De­scrib­ing the race, he said: ‘The crew raced in three watches of four, each su­per­vised by a teacher and a pro­fes­sional skip­per. It was the boys, how­ever, who sailed the boat. The lads have been bril­liant and dis­ci­plined through­out,’ he said. The crew weas also awarded the prize for the best me­dia cam­paign.

Lead helms­man Mon­tel Jor­dan, 17, had spent the week be­fore­hand helm­ing Lloyds of Lon­don’s X-55 Lu­tine in Cowes Week, hav­ing helmed an Etchells to 4th place in the Gertrude Cup the week be­fore.

He said: ‘The high­light for me was helm­ing down­wind. With over 20 knots of wind

Scaramouche was surf­ing. I had to con­cen­trate on ev­ery sin­gle wave be­cause one wrong turn and we could gybe or broach, which could cause in­juries. I am ask­ing as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble about how to get into a race team, maybe some­one will find me a place!’

Else­where in the Fast­net Race, French boats dom­i­nated the leader board. Eight of 11 main prizes were won by French crews, with all but one of the IRC classes go­ing to French boats, as well as the IMOCA 60 and Class 40 events, although the Bri­tish tri­maran Con­cise 10 won the mul­ti­hulls’ race.

Di­dier Gau­doux was the over­all win­ner, sail­ing his JND39 Lann Ael 2.

Mon­tel Jor­dan, 17, helms Scaramouche around the Fast­net

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