Wales / London -Elin Haf Davies is Sailing the Fastnet race and fundraising for Findacure -

Fastnet bound for Findacure

On August 16th I will be taking part in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race with the hope of raising money and awareness for Findacure. The Fastnet Race is a famous 608 nautical miles (1,126 km) offshore yachting race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and generally considered a difficult contest testing both inshore and offshore skills, boat and crew.

The race starts off Cowes on the Isle of Wight, leaving the Solent through The Needles Channel and following the southern coastline of England westward down the English Channel, rounding Land’s End, crossing the Celtic Sea and rounding the Fastnet Rock, off the southwest coast of Ireland. Returning around the Isles of Scilly before finishing at Plymouth. The Fastnet is a challenging race, often with Westerlies that are strong to gale force in strength.

This will be my third attempt at completing this race, however this time I’ll be taking on the challenge in a double handed campaign on board a J120 boat named Nunatak. That means that there will be just two of us on board to handle a 40 foot boat the whole way.

My previous Fastnet attempts were also on a 40 foot boat – but also included a crew of 11 people to sail her. In 2011 we had to abandon the race due to steering failure, so I know too well that just completing the race is a major hurdle, let alone competing competitively.

Even though I’ve got vast experience of life at sea, having rowed across both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean – it’s important to remember that I only started sailing in 2011. To take on this race double handed is therefore one of my greatest challenges yet.

But none of this would be possible without my amazing co-skipper Chris Frost. I can’t say how lucky I feel that Chris agreed to have me as his co-skipper for this year’s Fastnet campaign. As European and World Swans Championship it’s obvious that he’s a very talented competitive sailor – but more importantly than that is his willingness to give me this chance, and to be constantly coaching and teaching me on every aspect of sailing. I really can’t thank him enough for this amazing personal opportunity.

To top it all off I really hope that we can raise lots of awareness and money for Findacure – a charity that is completely aligned with all my professional work of supporting patient groups and encouraging research and drug development for rare diseases.

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