RAYC Round Britain Challenge 2021 - St Barbara V
What's the Plan? When deliberating what would provide us with a challenging, Covid-robust and enjoyable major Adventurous Training deployment for 2021, the Committee considered many options with the firm favourite being a UK-based event that we could exploit beyond offshore sailing into the wider Royal Regiment with links to activity by units and Gunner organisations. We had initially planned to participate in the Tall Ships Races, but the risk is simply too high in asking units to commit to expenditure, travel and crew lists for an overseas voyage.
Aims of the RAYC Round Britain Challenge 2021:
> 1. Deliver enjoyable, high-quality Adventurous Training through a series of challenging offshore legs around the United Kingdom in order to foster leadership, teamwork and morale in RA soldiers.
> 2. Provide RA units with retention-positive activity with least planning and administrative burden to the regiment, with flexibility a key principle around training programmes and Covid 19 restrictions.
> 3. Deliver training to enhance the number of RYA qualified personnel, particularly among the junior cohort of soldiers.
> 4. Consider expeditionary offshore sailing opportunities for other Service yacht clubs and RAYC retired members or members' families (the latter will require a full crew for an individual leg and for the yacht to be taken off AT for the period as there can be no blend between public and private activities).
> 5. Through liaison with RHQ RA, support wider RA messaging and posture, particularly along recruiting, the Reserves, and Regimental family themes, by connecting with shore-based activities and organisations.
Route? We are in the early planning stages but have already held an Initial Planning Conference with RA units and invited them to submit expressions of interest for particular legs. The general idea is a full circumnavigation of Great Britain, with options to 'dwell' in a location to either link to a shore-based event or, for example, to conduct an RAYC training course or where demand for one geographical area is increased (such as the West Coast of Scotland!). Whilst we naturally want St Barbara V off moorings for the maximum amount of time, another advantage of a UK-based expedition is the flexibility in travel times and destinations in accordance with progress, weather, and crew factors.
Timelines. On 21 Oct the Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore (Offshore) and Captain of Boats will muster in Gosport to consider unit bids to date and to apportion outline leg start/end points to the overall plan. There is no fixed start date for Leg One, but this is likely to be in the June/July timeframe in order for St Barbara V to be back and refreshed in early September for the RAYC Regatta.
Qualification Requirements. St Barbara V requires an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or Yachtmaster Coastal (depending on where your leg takes you) complete with an RAYC 'C' Rating to skipper. We can help you schedule a C Rating, which takes one day in Gosport. The Mate must be qualified to at least Day Skipper. The RAYC can help you find a Skipper and Mate for your leg but you should take every effort to do this too.
Finance. On current plans the RAYC will submit an overarching JSATFA for the exercise and secure ATG(A) funding to offset charter fees. All AT activity will be 'on duty' for the purposes of travel to/from the event and qualify for CILOR. There will likely be some remaining costs falling to units for charter fees, mooring fees or incidentals; leg OICs should start to plan for funding (PRI, battery funds, other grants) to offset costs for their participants.
Points of Contact.
> Cdre: Colonel Chris Gent or leave a message under "Contact Us" on this website
> RC(O): Lieutenant Colonel Tony Neylan or leave a message under "Contact Us" on this website
> What Can I do Now?
- Service unit interested in taking part? Get in touch to express interest with any particular dates or geographical area of interest.
- RAYC Retired Member? Begin to form a whole crew and express interest with the same details.
- Consider your qualified personnel and let us know whether you need (a) additional training of (b) help finding personnel.
- Cdre and RC(O) would appreciate support in planning and running the exercise: lots of profile-enhancing opportunities and a real chance to get more closely involved with the Club. Drop us a line if you are interested in being a Deputy ProjO and have the support of your Chain of Command.
- Watch this space and the RAYC Facebook page for leg details.
- Give us any preferences for specific legs as early as possible.