Exmouth RNLI volunteer enters tough Round Britain and Ireland Race

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 March 2014

Neil Matson, a volunteer deputy launching authority at Exmouth RNLI, is competing in this year's Round Britain and Ireland Race.

Neil Matson, a volunteer deputy launching authority at Exmouth RNLI, is competing in this year's Round Britain and Ireland Race.

Archant

TWO East Devon sailors – one from Exmouth’s RNLI – are ‘all systems go’ for the tough Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, which begins on Sunday, June 1.

Nei Matson's  yacht Vela Fresca on a wave. Photo: Mike RiceNei Matson's yacht Vela Fresca on a wave. Photo: Mike Rice

It’s the pair’s first appearance in the legendary and gruelling two-handed 2,000-mile race – run every four years – and they’re relishing the challenge, even though the skipper suffers from sea-sickness.

Neil Matson, 59, from Exmouth, will be sailing his Dufour 34 Performance, Vela Fresca, which he keeps on the River Exe.

A volunteer deputy launching authority at Exmouth RNLI, Neil has had experience of short-handed offshore racing and long-distance sailing before, including a trip to the Azores and back.

Crewing for him will be Adrian Troop, 51, from Ottery St Mary.

“Last year Adrian and I sailed the boat back from Madeira via the Azores,” said Neil. “It was 1,400 miles on a boat in force five to eight winds. It took 10 days and we were bedraggled at the end.

“Despite this, when I texted Adrian, asking if he’d like to do the Round Britain and Ireland Race, he still said yes. Fortunately that trip acts as our qualifier, so we are all systems go.

“We were first in our class for the Azores race, but in this event I just want to finish successfully, having sailed the boat well. The bit I don’t look forward to is the sea sickness, which I usually suffer from in the first few days.”

The race, which began in 1966, is organized by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England. Starting and finishing in Plymouth, there are stopovers in four ports. It’s open to yachts and multihulls between 30 and 50ft in length, crewed by two people only.

This year the event’s chosen charity is the RNLI.

“I think that’s entirely appropriate, especially with our focus on coastal safety,” said Neil. “Actually, I’m surprised that this partnership hasn’t been thought of before.”

Other News Stories

A new vehicle activated sign has been installed in Knowle Village to make motorists aware of the 30 miles per hour speed limit.

Read more
10:11

Exmouth Air Cadets have enjoyed a busy summer of activities.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30

Could you care? That’s the question we’re asking in the coming weeks as we launch a new series of articles.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:30

More pictures of Exmouth Community College from the Journal’s archive.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:57

A motorbike left by its owner in full view of CCTV cameras in Exmouth was intentionally pushed over ‘causing quite considerable damage’, say police

Read more
Yesterday, 13:14

How much should tax payers contribute to the council tax bills of people on low incomes?

Read more
Yesterday, 11:07

RNLI beach patrols have ended at Exmouth for the winter, prompting the charity to issue safety advice to beach users.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:21

Barbara McArthur was on hand for the unveiling of the speaking cut-out, which is promoting Cancer Research UK’s Free Will service, at the charity’s shop in The Parade.

Read more
Tue, 16:06

Take a look at the pictures we found in the Exmouth Journal’s picture archive.

Read more
Tue, 15:45

A 28-metre-high wheel which operated on Exmouth seafront this summer, offering spectacular views, could return in 2018, East Devon District Council has said.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications