Back to the classroom for Yachtmaster Theory

A couple of weeks ago, I went back to the classroom. With a daunting 6 days of theory, and 3 written exams ahead of me I was apprehensive for several reasons. Firstly, I haven’t sat in a classroom for a solid week in nearly 15 years – how would I cope?! Secondly, this was for my Yatchmaster theory. The standard of which is incredibly high – would I be up to the right standard? How tough is tough? Am I actually capable of this?

I did my theory course with Elite Sailing, a fantastic RYA training centre based in Chatham. I’ve done other courses with them in the past, including my VHF, Radar and Diesel Engine courses. But the Yachtmaster is in a very different league to any of those!

elite_sailing_chatham
The training barge (classroom) at Elite Sailing

Continue reading Back to the classroom for Yachtmaster Theory

RORC Channel Race 2017 – Cruising or Racing?

So, here I am, exhausted after the RORC Channel Race. Soaked through after a 2 day battle against the British summer weather and the English Channel.

I was aboard a sailing yacht called Rho, competing in the Open 40 Class. The biggest of the classes, with approx. 40 boats. Rho is a 36ft Sigma. A classic cruiser/racer, she was luxurious by my standards. I had my own cabin (‘hot bedding’ between watches), running water, a table in the saloon, a toilet which accepts paper and has a seat (!) and various other ‘luxuries’. As soon as I started exploring her, I realised this would be a different kind of racing for me.

rorc_channel_race_sam_mcclements (1)
Rho was luxurious by my standards

Continue reading RORC Channel Race 2017 – Cruising or Racing?