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Price

£1490

Nights

11

Age range

16-25

Start port

Portsmouth

End port

Portsmouth

Passport

Yes

DofE

Yes

RYA

Competent Crew

Voyage code

CF790

Bursary

Available

Voyage highlights

Cross the Bay of Biscay in challenge style on board an ocean-racing Challenger yacht 
Great opportunity to build nautical miles and develop passage-making techniques  
Experience all aspects of serious offshore sailing  
Previous sailing experience is highly recommended 

This voyage is a significant adventure sail, ideal for young people up for a physical and mental challenge, be resilient and happy to live in close quarters with your fellow crew in a challenging environment.   

You’ll meet like-minded individuals, aged from 16 to 25, who you’ll quickly bond and work together with to formone crew. 

Guided by our expert sailing staff, you’ll learn how to helm, set and manage the sails on a 72ft Challenger yacht. There will be the opportunity to get involved with planning the navigation for an offshore passage and making the best use of the weather forecasted. 

Once on passage, you will learn to adapt to life at sea; cooking, cleaning, and running the deck on a 24hr watch pattern.

The Bay of Biscay can be unpredictable even in August, but rest assured you’ll be in safe hands on board one of our Challengers being guided by our very experienced and highly qualified crew of sailors.   

Our Challengers are 72ft long and made of steel. Built in 2000 they have raced twice round the world in the Global Challenge races against prevailing winds and tides and were designed for heavy weather.   

The Challenger is the perfect vessel for this type of voyage and will make it a unique and memorable experience! 

Places you’ll visit 

At the start of the outward leg, you may initially stopover at Cowes or Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight if the weather is good, or head further west with possible stops in Brixham, Plymouth, or Falmouth while you monitor the forecast for that crucial weather window. 

We’ll then turn south to get the most favourable wind angle and to avoid the area of the Bay of Biscay where the depth drops from 100 metres to 4000 metres over just a 10-mile distance, causing extremely challenging conditions! 

Test your language skills with potential stopovers in France and if conditions allow, the stunning town of A Coruña, famous for its tasty seafood, particularly octopus. 

Takeaways from your sailing adventure  

Overcoming challenges. Resilience. Sense of achievement. Bucket-list sailing experience. New skills.

There will be plenty of opportunities to build amazing lifelong memories! In addition, to the stunning land and seascapes, you may also be lucky enough to spot dolphins, seals and fin whales along the way.

Over the course of the trip, you’ll take your turn with your watch at all aspects of sailing and living on a yacht at sea. This voyage is a great opportunity to push your boundaries, learn about yourself and escape from it all with time for quiet reflection and the opportunity to widen your sailing experience in a challenging environment. 

We divide the crew into two teams (watches) – traditionally, known as Port and Starboard. In your watches, you’ll take it in turns to be involved in all aspects of sailing the Challenger from deck duties tocookingandcleaning. 

RYA 

You’ll hopefully get the chance to complete the RYA Competent Crew course while you’re on board. 

The RYA Competent Crew syllabus includes: 

  • Sea terms and parts of a boat, rigging and sails 
  • Sail handling 
  • Ropework 
  • Fire safety and precautions 
  • Personal safety equipment 
  • Man overboard 
  • Emergency equipment 
  • Manners and customs 
  • Rules of the ‘road’ (at sea) 
  • Dinghies 

The cost of your RYA Competent Crew certificate is included in the price. 

RYA logbooks are available for purchase on board at a cost of £6 (Skippers are only able to take cash for this). 

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

All our voyages of four nights or more qualify for the residential section of the DofE Gold Award. 

Please let our Reservations Team know before sailing if you want to use the voyage for this.​​​ 

Passport 

You’ll be asked to enter your passport details as part of the booking process. If you don’t have these to hand, please contact us as soon as possible after submitting your booking form to let us know your details, as we cannot accept your booking without this information.

You will also need to present your valid passport to the Skipper at the start of the voyage. 

 

Further information

The Skipper will determine the final route depending on weather and other variables.  

Your Skipper can alsorecommend you for our volunteer crew training programme, if they feel you have the skills and attributes that we’re looking for. You can speak to your TSYT crew if this is something you’d be interested in and you’d like to find out more. 

All meals on board are included. 

TS Challenger Current Navy 1

Vessel:

Challenger

Vessel Details

handbook challenger

Handbook:

Challenger Handbook

Download

Book this voyage

£1490