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Neil Hurrell

Having enjoyed an association with sailing since my youth in dinghy's and crewing on 36ft cruisers in competitive racing in the tidal waters of the Blackwater River. I spent many years racing fast catamarans as helm on the national circuits learning much about sail trim and race tactics. Trying out a flotilla holiday in the Med with my family showed me that my skills were readily transferable to cruisers, and a chance conversation with Phil Ford introduced me to crewing on Brighton BelleĀ - what a magnificent boat to sail, and you feel so special entering any harbour in her.

The members are all so supportive and knowledgeable that before I knew it I built up several thousand miles on her including crossing the Bay of Biscay to Spain and I now have the confidence to handle her well. I now look forward to sharing these pleasures and my knowledge and experience with other new members in future voyages as her skipper.

All this has encouraged me to take on the Clipper Round the World Race and next year I will be joining one of the 70ft ocean racing yachts to complete 3 legs crossing the Pacific Ocean, the West and Eastern seaboard of USA and home across the Northern Atlantic some 20,000 nautical miles. Having already completed the comprehensive training for crew for this event I was also selected to go on to specialised training to yachtmaster level as reserve skipper. None of this would I have contemplated without the experience that I have gained on Brighton Belle.

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