Copyright 2018 - BBSC

I was a latecomer to sailing - joined a charter with friends in Croatia about 15 years ago, then one in Spain... and loved it. I thought dinghy sailing would be a good way to learn more, so joined a course run by Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club at Piddinghoe pond :-)

I fairly soon started racing, not dinghies but on a 32 foot Beneteau. Then joined a syndicate of four sharing a Squib - lovely boat to learn in! For some years I also had a share in a boat in the Caribbean and spent several weeks each year hanging out in the Windward Islands.

More recently I joined Brighton Marina Yacht Club and have been racing there on Sundays. Then I discovered Brighton Belle and became a member in late 2016. During 2017 I did several trips on BB and had a fabulous time - on Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera; sailing 500nm from Madeira to the Azores; a week's 'pontoon bashing' in the Solent; and a great week sailing from Brighton to Amsterdam.

I love being part of BBSC. Apart from the sailing, I really enjoy pottering around on BB and doing those bits of maintenance that I am capable of doing... I love learning new things, and there's always something new to learn on BB.

I started sailing as a kid in dinghies and then the family yacht, a 17ft Hurley Silhouette on inland lakes. Despite the sardine experience of being the second smallest on board I learned to love sailing. So in my 20s I started with UK Sea Schools and Mediterranean flotillas. Many years on I have sailed in UK waters, (east & south coast), Brittany, Turkey, Italy, Croatia, Canaries, and the Caribbean.

I have now done about 15,000 miles and gathered some  RYA qualifications along the way including MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and this is despite getting sea-sick regularly. None of my miles have been done in heroic circumstances like crossing oceans or similar, just happy pottering in nice areas. I like sailing because it is a social activity including good company, food and the odd drink when tied up solidly. Brighton Belle offers all of that and includes a gorgeous 55 foot Oyster in the bargain.

I've spent time bobbing about in the Solent, racing yachts and Etchells in Auckland and more recently offshore on Brighton Belle from Brighton to Lisbon.  An excellent couple of weeks cruising.

The initial attraction to Brighton Belle Sailing Club is the Brighton Belle herself, an excellent yacht that is well cared for and sails beautifully.  After a few cruises aboard and other non-sailing events the real appeal reveals itself: to spend time doing what we enjoy with other like-minded people.

Skipper and Club Commodore.

 

I have always loved being on the water. I started sailing dinghies as a wee lad and progressed on to yachts as a teenager sailing wherever and whenever possible. I spent a couple of gap years working charter yachts around the Eastern seaboard of the States, through the Bahamas to the Caribbean and across the 'pond' to the Mediterranean.   RYA Yacht Master since 1998. I came back to get a 'real job' but sailing as often as possible. I joined Brighton Belle Sailing Club 2009.  The club has been a brilliant route for me to sail on a beautiful yacht with friends.

So many coastlines and so little time! 

 

 

I joined  the Club shortly after it was formed.

My background is that I took part (many years ago!) in "The Brendan Voyage" and then  spent many years as a delivery skipper for various yacht manufacturers, mostly Hallberg Rassy and Najad.

Instead of "bashing" along to maintain a schedule, it is nice to be able to relax and enjoy good company. I believe that sailing Brighton Belle is "cruising" as it should be, visiting new places and meeting new people. I enjoy the thrill of sailing a lovely yacht in a seamanlike manner and arriving in new, previously unexplored anchorages and harbours. Whether eating ashore or on board, exploring unknown areas or simply relaxing, the important thing is to enjoy each other's company.

Since "dingy sailing in Greece" many years ago I have always come back from sailing thinking "I really really enjoyed that"!  Then a friend of mine took me out on the Solent in a Spring.  This set me on a path:  Competent Crew, crossing the North Sea, Day Skipper, chartering B36/37s for weekends with friends, Oban-Orkney-Losiemouth.   It was always a struggle to find crew for the B36/37 weekends and like minded people for adventurous sailing so I looked around and found the BBYC syndicate.  Problem solved! Perfect!

Oh! and here is a test for you! Why is my profile picture at 45 degrees?  (a) Stewart was skipper and had every piece of sail up in an F7.  (b) Debra our resident professional photographer took the photo (c) too much fun the night before at the marina bar...

I started sailing in the Autumn of 2013, being embarrassed by having lived by the sea for 40 years and never going out on it. I joined the Brighton Marina Yacht Club 'Club Class' scheme for yacht racing. I found that I enjoyed yacht racing very much, and have since been crew on 3 different yachts, the latest being a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33' which we race every Sunday unless it's blowing a hooley!

I heard about Brighton Belle from a fellow member of BMYC and signed up for a day sail in January 2014.....unfortunately it was blowing a hooley that day so we didn't go out but I met a great bunch of people and had a nice lunch on a beautiful (moored!) yacht. I joined straightaway. I got my day sail a few weeks later, had a lovely day and booked for a week sailing from Crosshaven in Ireland to Plymouth via the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Fowey. Brilliant sailing, with very varied conditions, dolphins, and a whale! I also spent a splendid week sailing around the Canaries in February 2017- Tenerife and La Gomera.....  more whales this time and great company, as usual. In August 2017 I had another excellent week, crossing the channel to visit Dunkirk, the French and Dutch coast and along the North Sea Canal to Amsterdam. 

The newest member of my family is Jemima.... I finally succumbed to the temptations of owning a whole boat by myself.... she's only little... a 25' Fisher Freeward but she's adorable!! I got her in June 2017 and although we haven't been able to get out much she is a joy, and makes me smile whenever I see her. 

Looking forward to what 2018 holds for all of us on Brighton Belle. Hope to be sailing with you all again soon.

Started sailing when a lot younger, had a bit of a gap doing other things until recently.  Done a mix of sailing, from a square rigger to dinghys, atlantic, med and brighton. Have lots to learn but getting real experience sailing with Brighton Belle and learning from the many skilled and helpful members.  Its all great fun on a lovely yacht.

I have been sailing most of my life, combining round-the-cans and offshore racing with more relaxed cruising. I've completed two transatlantic crossings (a race from Southampton to Boston, and a delivery from Antigua to Lagos, Portugal) and a Round Britain & Ireland Race, as well as some delivery work with George. I joined Brighton Belle Sailing Club in 2009 and was a skipper until 2017 when I stepped down to mate. I enjoy both the sailing and the navigation, with a particular fascination for weather routing.

I serve on the Committee as Membership Secretary.

It all started in the late fifties, when my father took my brother and I sailing on his green Folkboat Escape. She was moored just opposite the Hayling Island Sailing Club clubhouse, and anyone familiar with Sandy Point will know that the tide in and out of Chichester Harbour runs quite fast there. This meant strong arms to row the dinghy across.

My first night on board involved a cruise as far as Bosham, where we picked up an unused mooring and started to cook supper on a rather smelly old Primus stove, which ran on methylated spirits and needed 'pricking' from time to time to keep the jets clear. The mud is quite soft in Bosham creek, so it wasn't until we noticed a distinct list to port that we realised we were aground. More than aground, in fact, as we ended up high and dry lying on our side for a good part of the night. Fortunately she righted herself on the rising tide without taking any on board, and we returned home the next day.

I continued sailing with my father in bigger and bigger boats, including Alley Sloper, a 32 foot Robert Clark design, and the 44ft Naseby, another Robert Clark. We raced these boats both at Cowes and in some of the shorter offshore races, and also managed some cruising along the south coast. When I was 18 my father gave up sailing, but I was fortunate to be able to crew on Zulu in the 1966 Tall Ships Race from Falmouth to Copenhagen. The homebound leg consisted of a long beat to windward in SW force 9-10 across the North Sea, from Cuxhaven to Gosport. I then found myself crewing for Sir Max Aitken, firstly on Drumbeat in the 1967 Fastnet Race, and then on Crusade in the 1979 season, culminating in another Fastnet which we only just lost to Dick Carter's Red Rooster.

By this time, my academic achievements were beginning to suffer, so sailing was put on hold until the late seventies when I bought High Potential, a Contessa 26, with my friend Howard. High Potential was based in Salcombe, so in April '78 we took a week off to bring her back to Brighton. Howard was inexperienced, and I was out of practice, so when things got a bit bumpy as we crossed Lyme Bay, we talked ourselves into heading north in order to identify some lights and fix our position. The wind, initially force 6 southwesterly, had veered to the north west and increased to 8 or 9. Ah! That predicted deep depression in sea area Sole had caught up with us! The seas were getting very lumpy as well, and we realised we were in the middle of the Portland Race. We continued north under engine and bare poles until we identified the Portland Bill light. When we saw a pair of car headlights next to it flashing Morse letter 'U', it was obvious we were closer to the shore than we had thought. However, the pilot books tell of an inshore passage, about a cable wide, between the Bill and the Race. OK, they also say it should only be attempted in calm weather, in full daylight and at neap tides, whereas this was a veritable dark and stormy night at spring tide. We were nearly there, it was too late to bottle out! Stay in the Race or find the inner passage? Suddenly the sea went flat, the wind dropped as we gained the lee of the cliffs, and we turned hard to starboard. We followed the channel with rocks to port and the race to starboard until we rounded the Bill into Weymouth Bay. Amazingly, the low pressure system had blown through and we could see the lights of Weymouth twinkling in the distance. We joined a raft of boats on the Town Quay, and collapsed into our bunks. The next day the local newspaper's front page story was about a Swan 44 that had got into difficulties and had to be towed in by the lifeboat. They must have gone the wrong way!

To be continued....

I am also a member of the Ocean Cruising Club, the Royal Yachting Association and the Brighton Marina Yacht Club

Joined Brighton Belle in 2015, attracted by its adventurous cruising programme and the opportunity to sail in style while sharing the responsibilities and costs.

I started sailing in dinghies, first learning the ropes in any boat I could get my hands on, then racing in Fireballs. I later turned to yachts and worked my way up through crewing in club racing, getting qualified (RYA Coastal Skipper), skippering my own yacht in inshore races and cruising, skippering bareboat charters abroad and in the West Highlands, crewing for deliveries etc.

In 2016 I skippered my first trips with Brighton Belle: a cruise from Tenerife around the western Canary Islands, taking in Carnival in La Palma; a delivery-cruise from Tenerife to Madeira; and a delivery from Amsterdam to London. 

 

I bought my first boat in Sydney in 1989 and with my dinghy sailing experience, explored Sydney waters in my Top Hat 27 for the next 11 years before selling her. I have been delighted by the opportunities and experience since joining the Brighton Belle Sailing Club and have had four wonderful seasons coastal cruising, the last three as mate, and building on my experience.

As a new skipper this season (2015), I am building my sea miles and experience of skippering this larger yacht and will be having an experienced skipper (George and Bob) as my mate on each cruise in the 2015 season. This will enable me to offer fun, adventurous and pleasurable cruises, while building on my seamanship, the first week along the south west coast from Cork, and the second week from Cork back to Plymouth, via the Isles of Scilly.

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This is my 30th season cruising on sailing yachts and I have cruised the South and East coasts of the UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands and the Baltic.  I have also enjoyed warmer cruising in the Mediterranean, Canaries, and Caribbean.  I am qualified to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore level and have done the theory for Ocean too, but so far have not made Ocean passages.  My wife Judith Hankey shares my enthusiasm for sailing, and we shared ownership of two yachts before moving to the South coast and joined a yacht club which owns two yachts in the Solent in 2008.   I was quickly identified as bosun material so now wander around with keys to “my” three yachts (including Brighton Belle).

We bought shares in Brighton Belle in 2017 after enjoying our trial sail in the Canaries.

 

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A newish member - I joined BBSC in 2015 - an ancient (ex RN) mariner keen to ‘go down to the sea again’ after 10 years ashore.  I was welcomed as a new member by a professional team and have much enjoyed some fantastic sailing over the past two years including ocean passages to Lisbon, Lanzarotte, Madeira and the Azores. I've also had the opportunity to sail in French waters previously unknown to me and the last trip - Amsterdam to London - was another 'first'. 

I’m  proud to be part owner of a superb sailing vessel, maintained to a high standard - and much appreciate having the opportunity to fulfill personal dreams in the company of like minded friends -  serendipity! 

CARPE DIEM

  

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I started sailing just over 20 years ago with a friend, in the Solent, who owned a 34ft Moody. I fell in love with the activity from the first day and over the next two years took the necessary RYA qualifications to skipper a yacht myself.

I then spent the next 15 years chartering 'Bare Boat' all over the world including the UK, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Australia, mostly with my family, but also with groups of friends. Towards the end of this period, I started seriously looking at purchasing my own yacht, but for various reasons never got the final purchase.

When I heard about Brighton Belle, to me it was the ideal solution, a beautiful yacht, renowned for its open water cruising abilities, and even more important, the chance to join and learn from a group of like-minded sailing enthusiasts - the experience so far has lived up to my expectations. The highlight so far was skippering her last year from Plymouth to north west Spain across the notorious Bay of Biscay, which on this occasion gave exactly the right balance between exciting sailing without ever becoming a white knuckle ride. I have now accrued just over 5,000 sea miles, and when skippering I try to get a balance between testing and exciting passages while at the same time making sure we also relax and enjoy ourselves at local hostelries and isolated anchorages.

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Taught to sail by my Dad on the Thames and at Middleton on Sea in Enterprises, National 12s and an 11+ when I was still at junior school.  A few years later I expanded on this after joining the RN and did a lot of coastal and open water yacht sailing in a range of yachts up to around 45ft.  This included racing and regular appearances at Cowes Week skippering Class 1 yachts.  Claim to fame: being told to "F*** Off" by the Duke of Edinburgh (he was helming Yeoman XX) when I dared to call "starboard"!! Met him for a gin at the Boat Show six months later - fortunately he didn't recognise me!

An Offshore Yachtmaster since the early 70s, I have been sailing regularly since then (work and family permitting), in recent years as regular race crew (foredeck and spinnaker - no one else willing as the years advance and the joints stiffen!) on a Catalina in Plymouth.

Joined Brighton Belle in early 2017 - thoroughly enjoyed a Canaries cruise, the trip back from the Azores to France and the Brighton-Amsterdam-London cruises.  Looking forward to lots of sailing in 2018 - initially skippering the delivery trip to the Orkneys and then some cruises around the Faroes and the Hebrides.

Intending to revert to my Scottish ancestry - I'm learning to drink decent whisky and I might even buy a kilt!

Thanks for the very warm welcome to our club from you all.

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Having started sailing dinghy as a youth I graduated to crewing 36ft cruisers in the competative tidal waters of the Blackwater. Later racing fast Catermarans and joining the national curcuit with some success learning much about sail trim and racing tactics. A chance conversation with an existing member and skipper Phil Ford introduced me to Brighton Belle and one sail was all it took to keep me coming back. I have been encouraged to learn and develop and now am a Skipper and joining the Clipper Ocean Race for 20,000 nautical miles and 3 oceans next year.

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