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Challenger 3 – The London Nautical School

By Kate Stewart - July 1st, 2023 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Onboard Challenger 3 this week, we have a group from The London Nautical School joining us for a voyage.

Read their blog to find out more!

Day 2

Tuesday 27

Yesterday, we practiced some racing conditions, such as tacking and gybing when our boat was nearly vertical on its side. I have to admit, although it was scary, it was much more fun than I’d have anticipated. During this, the metal ropes for clamping onto had a much clearer purpose than before.

We also encountered a few obstacles in the open waterways, which were great fun avoiding, especially since those in the cockpit started going bonkers every time we made a sharp turn. Perhaps as a result of these turns and rocks, the first person onboard got sick yesterday; Malik.

A few of us were trapped on deck as none of us wanted to venture into the sick below. ‘Twas cleaned up though. Finally, the majority of us have adjusted to our tight bunks. Claustrophobia was a significant concern as well as the rest of us felt it on the first night, yet it gets much cosier the more work you put in above deck.

Overall, enjoying the experience so far.

Day 3

Wednesday 28

Today, we learnt about the different parts of the sail, as well as the different settings of the sail. It was a decently short but entertaining lesson. We went from Weymouth to Poole, which took us around five to six hours.

We were traveling at an average speed of six knots. In the morning, we did some mast climbing, where everyone would get a chance to go up the mast wearing a harness, whilst having the spinnaker lines for support. It was a really enjoyable experience.

After mast climbing, we were taught about the procedure and equipment needed for a man overboard drill. We used BOB as our dummy. When we set sail, we tried the man overboard drill and it went successfully.

For lunch, we had chicken goujon wraps cooked by Isaac’s watch, consisting of Darius, Bogdan, Damir and Malik.

It was overall a nice day and different people tried steering the boat. We ended the day with pasta bolognaise after mooring up the boat in Poole.

Isaac’s watch cleaned up whilst Ken’s watch went to take showers ,and afterwards we all had down time where we also had a walk around the area to see what it’s like.

Day 4

Thursday 29

Today, we started the morning with cereal for breakfast, which was followed by an early start to sailing. We had an unpredicted HAT OVERBOARD drill as Darius’ hat flew into the sea. We saw this as a good time to practice the skills previously learnt.

Shortly after this, we had lunch which was meat pasties and beans, this meal was filling and lasted us the whole journey. Due to the unpredicted hat overboard, we lost most of our wind which caused us to be slightly behind arriving schedule.

After we packed down the boat, we began making dinner which took incredibly long due to the peeling of vegetables. This caused a massive tantrum by the rest of the crew. This was made up however, by being the overall best meal cooked onboard so far.

We finished up the day with a game of cards, won by Damir.


Day 5

Friday 30

Cowes Yacht Haven Race Village

Day five was nothing but wind, and the rapid consumption of biscuits. However, we had plenty of fun tacking about in the waters around Cowes, as now most of us had an idea of what we had to do.

The routine has also been drilled into the majority of us, as the boat operates as a well-oiled machine.

The cooking watch cooks up breakfast and dinner, while the rest man the deck and the sink. Though life on the Challenger 3 has become the norm, homesickness has hit much harder than seasickness. To sleep on a comfy mattress, rather than a plain sheet would be the break all of us now yearn for. Yet, overall, life onboard is a piece of cake.

Once in Cowes, our Skipper organised some extra mayhem. The crew went to do a competition onshore to see who puts on RNLI wet weather suits the fastest. The winners could receive a HH voucher.

Fastest Time: Dominic 24 seconds

Even the Skipper took part, he was not the last, 33 seconds, Ninja warrior.

All that competed received a shoulder bag, courtesy of Helly Hansen.

By Jack and Dominic.

Day 6

Saturday 1

Round The Island Race 2023

Weekend Stats

Start time 0800

Finished 1924:30

Boat Class Positions IRC group 0   286th

Overall line honours 484th across the line

We started the day by waking up at 05:00 and we ate cereal after we prepared the boat for the big event.

We started the race by crossing the start line at 08:05 and the course was smooth until we went downwind. Malik got sea sick and vomited on the high side of the boat. After this event, we continued as normal until Jack’s hat flew off. Since we were in the race, we couldn’t salvage it.

A whopping number of 1100 boats were entered. Unfortunately, 91 retired from the race and 11 did not make it past the starting line. By the end, 835 boats finished by crossing the finishing line, including us (Challenger 3).

We ended up in spot 286 in our boat class as part of IRC group 0 and we ended up in place 484 overall, beating the majority of the professionals as a group of 16-year-olds!

Due to our victory, we had a celebratory meal cooked by Darius, Bogdan, Malik and Damir. It was an “amazingly cooked” main of creamy chicken pasta with a white sauce and a starter of nachos with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. We ended the feast with apple pie and custard for dessert!

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