Despite losing four days with boat damage Pete Goss and Paul Larsen complete Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race 4/7/06

A crowd of supporters cheered as Pete Goss and Paul Larsen sailed ‘Cornwall Playing for Success’ across the finishing line of the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race at 1128 on Sunday morning.

Goss and Larsen took the SeaCart up to 17 knots across Plymouth Sound in perfect conditions, with two hulls flying. There was applause as the Royal Western Yacht Club fired the cannon to signal their finish, the ninth boat to do so from an original fleet of 40.

It is unclear where they will finish on corrected time and more boats will have to finish before that becomes clear, although a top placing will not be possible having lost over four days to repairs see news story here. Finishing two days behind the leaders was disappointing for the team, but the unanimous feeling on the quayside as Champagne corks popped, was that the campaign, which included three leg wins, had been a success.

The team set out to prove that the SeaCart 30 can be sailed in offshore races and to raise money and awareness for Cornwall Playing for Success. They have raised approximately £45,000 for the charity, nearly twice the original goal, and an Ebay auction for a sail with Pete on the boat currently stands at £560 with a day to go.

Peter Taylor is the Race Director at the Royal Western Yacht Club, which hosts the gruelling 2,000-mile competition. He said: “We are delighted that Pete chose the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race to return to competitive sailing. Many people doubted that such a tiny and lightweight craft would make it around this tough and challenging course. It is testament to Pete and Paul’s seamanship that they managed to perform so well in the race. One can only wonder where they would have finished without their unfortunate delay, but that is what the Round Britain race is all about – exciting, challenging sailing where anything can happen.”

The race involved them helping in the rescue of a yacht aground on rocks, sailing alongside sharks and dolphins, and dropping off ‘messages in bottles’ on behalf of children involved in the charity programme.

Speaking of their campaign, Pete said: “We feel immensely privileged to take part in this event and thoroughly enjoyed it. Whilst there were challenges and disappointments, we achieved everything we set out to do for the charity. Another objective was to have fun and we did – we had a ball. We are also confident that the SeaCart will go on to many victories in the future and we hope to be on board for many of them. We would like to thank the team that supported us and especially our sponsors: Mitie; ndura; Phileas Fogg; and Pindar, without whom our adventure would not have been possible. We hope there will be many more adventures to come.”