Exmouth snapper takes part in yacht race

PUBLISHED: 15:19 24 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:42 10 June 2010

A PHOTOGRAPHER from Exmouth has developed a passion for riding yachts in daring sea challenges. Edd King, of Salisbury Road, completed the 608 nautical miles Rolex Fastnet race on Friday, August 14 – the 30th anniversary of the tragic 1979 competition whe

A PHOTOGRAPHER from Exmouth has developed a passion for riding yachts in daring sea challenges.

Edd King, of Salisbury Road, completed the 608 nautical miles Rolex Fastnet race on Friday, August 14 - the 30th anniversary of the tragic 1979 competition where 15 people died.

The 27-year-old said he decided to take part after working at an event which featured a motivational speaker delivering a talk.

Edd said he was inspired by the speaker and, when he got home he saw an advert for the Fastnet race on the social networking website Facebook and decided to enter.

He added: "Then, a couple of weeks later, there I was in a boat in Southampton. I had an absolutely brilliant time.

"There were times during the race that it got quite tough. Mentally it was hard, for example, through lack of sleep and the cold weather."

Edd had no previous sailing experience prior to the race. His team, consisting of three professionals and 10 amateurs, finished in 154th place out of 300 entrants.

The Fastnet competition has been held since 1929.

Storms during the 1979 contest wreaked havoc on more than 306 yachts. Twenty five were sunk or disabled resulting in 15 fatalities.

Royal Navy ships, RAF Nimrod jets, helicopters, lifeboats and a Dutch warship were involved in the rescue and picked up 125 yachtsmen.

Since then, competitors have to complete qualifying events and undergo a certificate process as safety precautions.

Edd said: "I would consider doing it again. While on the yacht, a couple of guys were talking about doing either Cork Week or the Round Britain and Ireland race.

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