The last leg of the trip is always tinged with a bit of sadness as the epic journey is coming to an end. For crew members who had done the entire trip it was significant having to say goodbye to their home of the last seven weeks.
The boats left Plymouth after a lovely weekend in Mayflower Marina where the hospitality on offer was much appreciated by the crews. In particular the ladies were wowed by the luxurious bathing facilities - so much so that many pictures were taken!! The journey continued with a glorious sail to Dartmouth, home of the Royal Navy Officer training school.
The pictures do not do justice to the glorious weather the crews enjoyed as they sailed from Dartmouth on the the journey to Portland. The Boatfolk staff welcomed the crews to the home of 2012 Olimpic sailing venue.
What next - the crews decided to make the long passage from Weymouth to Eastbourne. The winds were a little tricky but the vessels made good progress considering the headwinds and entered the Lock at Soveriegn Harbour the next afternoon ready for a well deserved rest.
From Eastbourne the vessels enjoyed the pleasure of passing Dungeness, Dover and Ramsgate before sailing through the London Array wind farm and negotiating the the formidable sandbanks of the Thames and before a night at anchor in the River Roach. Paul and Phil produced a couple of superb "last night dinners" and even conjured up a glass of wine to be enjoyed before the yachts made a quiet entry into Burnham Yacht Harbour and the customary BBQ.
This years event, as many people know is the first without James being present somewhere on the route. It is also the first since his brother was diagnosed with the same illness and so the homecoming, lovely as it was, did have a sombre element for the staff at Premier Sailing and for some of the crewmembers that have been affected by Cancer. Living with Cancer is a challenge for all involved and many people need support of some kind - and Macmillan can help - even if it is just someone to talk to.
If you would like to donate to Macmillan the do follow this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/premier-sailing23
Premier Sailing would also like to thank all of our sponsors and crews for this year’s endeavours. Their generous donations are all going straight to Macmillan, so they can help those who need it most.