Young team aboard Unlimited Sailing/John Merricks holds top place in Round Britain & Ireland 11/8/06

The Farr 45 Unlimited/John Merricks is continuing to retain seventh place overall in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race with just over 1,181 miles to go.

Currently in the Atlantic Ocean, the sailors who are members of the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme and the youngest crew competing in the event, have had a testing couple of days, experiencing a series of highs and lows.

Chatting from the boat Connor Myant, 22 from London and helmsman revealed: “It’s been a tough 48 hours for us. I think we all knew it was going to be hard but we’ve had a difficult few days with harder ones to come. I think we’ve all thought about why we’re here and what we’re doing, but no one’s asked to get off just yet and we seem to be gelling really well as a team.

“We got round the Fastnet some time last night [Wednesday] while I was tucked up asleep letting the others get their hands dirty. Then around Inishtearaght earlier today. The weather, strong winds and bumpy sea, has resulted in most of us feeling a little ropey with many of the crew being sick off the back of the boat at one time or another, but no one has missed a watch yet which is really positive.

“We’re sailing now with one reef in the main as we’ve got about 20-25 knots nearly on the nose. We’re hoping the wind will shift round so that we can reach up towards the top of Ireland which will make for some smoother sailing.

“We had some beautiful scenery this morning as we sailed along the Irish coastline but now we’re out of sight of land and other boats. The crew seem much happier after some food and it’s nice on deck at the moment with great sunshine, which has brought out some jokes, but below deck it’s hot, wet and steamy – not nice! Our electronics have been causing us some problems which we are trying to sort out now.

“We’re waiting to see what happens with the weather over the next 24 hours. We’re sitting between a high and a low so we could get lighter winds or the breeze could build to something bigger, which means we have some bigger issues and will all need to hold on.”

Unlimited Sailing / John Merricks is being crewed by members of the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme with an average age of just 23 on board. The boat and the Round Britain and Ireland Campaign are supported by Unlimited Sailing, the Peter Harrison Foundation and the John Merricks Trust.


Nigel King, East London – Skipper

Rob Hoey, Newton Abbot – Co Skipper/Bowman

Jamie Holmes, Bath – Boat Captain/Trimmer

Nicky Macgregor, Poole – Watch Leader/Trimmer

James Roche, Southampton – Watch Leader/Trimmer

Ed Hill, Guildford – Watch Leader/Trimmer

Jeremy Fowke, Weymouth – Trimmer

Charlotte Lawrence, Lymington, Edinburgh University – Trimmer

Nick Cherry, Southampton – Helmsman

Jonny Marshall, Lymington – Helmsman

Connor Myant, London – Helmsman