Team NHS qualify for the Rolex Fastnet Race

After competing in three tough offshore sailing races and having sailed 670 miles, 374 of which were racing, Team NHS has achieved the first of two objectives – qualify for an entry into the 2005 Rolex Fastnet sailing race. The second objective is to finish the gruelling 600 miles of offshore racing.

Ian Carey, the skipper and project manger, has brought together a crew of user representatives, doctors, nurses, managers and a midwife to demonstrate how NHS teamwork can be transferred to the competitive and potentially dangerous world of offshore sailing. This is the first Fastnet Race for each member of Team NHS. They will be competing on a chartered Jeanneau Sunfast 37 against professional sailing teams, and more experienced amateur teams. Team NHS has the support of Sir Nigel Crisp, Chief Executive of the NHS, and the whole crew is proud to be using the NHS logo and will be flying the flag for the NHS.

Carey said recently: “This has been one of the hardest projects I have ever managed. Just over eight weeks ago the crew sailed and raced together for the first time. We have quickly learned to sail our chartered yacht; we have suffered strong winds together (force 7) and we have held on to each other as we took turns to vomit over the side. But above all we have worked together as a team, suffering and laughing together as well as sailing the yacht as fast, but as safely as we can.”

On Sunday 7 August Team NHS will be at the start line. Depending on the weather, Team NHS hope to cross the finish line at Plymouth sometime on Friday 12th or Saturday 13th having sailed non-stop for 600 miles.