After a long and eventful weekend the MBA Fastnet Team 2013 has taken one of the first hurdles to meet the crew qualification requirements for the Rolex Fastnet Race by successfully completing sea survival training. The practical elements of the course were obviously the most exciting part of the training.
In the Saturday session we first had a chance to let off different flares by the beach side, learning best techniques for handling and using flares in the event of an emergency. Then we moved on to training in and on the water. With temperatures around zero we were luckily able to fulfill this part in the Falck Nutec indoor pool, rather than in the open sea!
We went through numerous different scenarios during the pool training, such as escaping from a submerged and rolled over helicopter, or being hoisted by a helicopter rescue sling. To make the training more authentic pitch black conditions were created with lighting available only from strobe lights used to simulate lightning, while at the same time the wave, rain and wind machines were switched on, producing winds up to 8 Beaufort (34 – 40 knots). It is quite an impressive experience to try to turn a life raft and get into it with all the forces of nature fighting against you.
On the theoretical side we learned about many different kinds of safety equipment, especially life jackets and life rafts, and fire fighting techniques and equipment.
The Sunday session continued with handling of heavy weather, MOB (Man Overboard) manoeuvres, distress signalling and SAR (Search and Rescue) operations. This session was followed by an one hour exam, which all of the 9 participating crew members passed alongside Roy Heiner.
This was another great weekend for the MBA Fastnet Team 2013, bonding with amazing experiences and very valuable take aways – not just the ISAF certificate.
Now after 3 weekends of training in the cold Netherlands we are ready for the sun and very much looking forward to our first training on the Volvo 60 in Portugal!
The MBA Fastnet Challenge 2013 crew have undertaken two training weekends now at Team Heiner HQ in Lelystad, The Netherlands.
During these weekends they were all put through their paces – and various crew positions – on both Max Fun 35’s and J109’s. There was a definite focus on improving boat handling skills and efficiency of actions, but particularly as crew of the same team, not just as a bunch of individuals who happen to be on the same boat.
Needless to say the physical schedule was demanding, and the learning curve was steep. Yet as one crew member summarised “Pushing one’s boundaries started on day one for each crew member: not to train was simply no question – regardless illness/flue or tough work schedules.”
Just as important, however, were activities undertaken off the water. While the crew have raced together or against each other in various races in “bits and pieces”, they hadn’t been part of the same crew before – which is an entirely different way of “getting to know you”! After meeting Roy Heiner and the crew of Team Heiner, the professionals who will be guiding them through this journey, the crew were able to spend time understanding realistic team goals and expectations.
Time was also spent on land to aid in better understanding the theory of sailing, teamwork, and particularly communications on board a professional racing yacht – down to dry-runs of precise boat-handling manoeuvres while on land!
After two weekends in the winter months in predictably cold weather, strong winds, and giving their all to learn and grow as individuals and as a team, Roy Heiner gave the crew some welcome news – they were ready to train next on “Team Heiner One”, the Volvo 60 the team will be using for their Fastnet campaign!
The crew of the MBA Fastnet 2013 team have been busy preparing already for their Fastnet campaign with two successful training weekends at Team Heiner HQ in Lelystad, The Netherlands under the guidance of Roy Heiner and team.
The team, in no particular order:
Moritz Vielhauer (Columbia)
Herman de Knop (Columbia)
Ina Spiess (WHU / Kellogg)
Grania Holzwarth (WHU / Kellogg)
Sascha Hocherl (WHU / Kellogg)
Benjamin Grosman (LBS)
Christian Hausmann (LBS)
Iris Co (Schulich / RSM)
Berend Groeneveld (RSM)
Erwin van Helden (RSM)
Andrei Grigorian (RSM)
Our first training weekend saw the team in Maxfun 35’s and J109’s training in some “fresh” conditions, as well as going through some onshore theory.
The second weekend was on a Maxfun 35 in January 2013, with “fresher” (i.e. colder) conditions providing opportunities for more training.
More details on the crew as well as past and future training to follow soon!
For 2013 a diverse group of members of the MBA Sailing League have embarked on a new challenge – to compete together as a team in one of the toughest yacht races in the world – the 2013 Fastnet campaign.
The 608 nautical mile Fastnet race has been since its founding in 1925 a true test of the marks of a sportsperson – skill, courage, and endurance. Held in August every two years, the race starts from The Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes. Yachts then race to the Fastnet Rock, and then to the finish line at the western end of the breakwater in Plymouth Harbour.
The Fastnet race is a difficult test of both inshore and offshore skills, boats, and teams, with stringent preparation, training, and safety requirements to match. To this end, the crew have joined forces with Roy Heiner and his company Team Heiner to prepare, train, and race in the Fastnet on a Volvo 60 racing yacht.
Here on this page you’ll be able to find out about the progress of the team on our Fastnet journey.