Issued: 18th September 2009

Media Enquiries: Peta Stuart-Hunt
T: 01590 679621 or M: 07711 477707

Leg 3 has been a voyage not without incident

In a matter of hours, the first of the Exercise TRANSGLOBE yachts will be arriving in Cape Town and the lead crew will be mightily relieved to step ashore after a 3,270nm crossing from Rio de Janeiro that included their yacht suffering a fractured Vang and damage to the mainsail.

The three Challenge 67ft yachts ADVENTURE, DISCOVERER and CHALLENGER are approaching Cape Town in that order with the Royal Navy leading the Royal Air Force and then the Army.  The passage from Rio De Janeiro has been at times challenging and not without incident.  Commander Nick Trundle, the skipper of the RN yacht Adventure, has had to contend with a fracture of the Vang and damage to the mainsail.  Despite these problems, his tactic of heading further South than his fellow skippers has paid off and he is due to arrive at the finish gate later today, Friday 18th September.

The finish gate has been set as a line due south of the Robben Island Light House, with the skippers providing their time of crossing back to the Project Office in the UK.  From there it is a short distance to the haven of the Royal Cape Yacht Club who have graciously offered berths for the crew changeover period.  The crews are eagerly anticipating hot showers and fresh food. The blogs sent back during this stage of the Exercise have reflected the thrill of the journey combined with how large their respective bruises are and the quality of food being served up!

The two other yachts, Discoverer and Challenger are scheduled to arrive early Saturday having followed a more northerly track.  For the entire passage, the Army and RAF have been in close proximity and have swapped over the lead place on a couple of occasions.  Their skippers, Becky Walford and Jon Greatorex, are highly experienced sailors and have led strong crews from the respective Services.

All the crews have had to contend with winds of over 50kts and steep sided waves but can now reflect on their achievements and enjoy their final week off to sample the sights and sounds of Cape Town and its environs before flying home and returning to their day jobs as serving personnel.

The 13-leg Exercise TRANSGLOBE is a major Tri-Service Adventurous Sail Training Exercise open to all UK service personnel, Regular and Reserve. The guys and girls who have signed up for TRANSGLOBE will experience the extremes of ocean crossings from the heat of the Tropics to the extreme cold of the Southern Ocean. TRANSGLOBE will test their physical and mental stamina whilst building confidence in themselves and their fellow crew members.

The next stage, Leg 4, will see the fleet sail from Cape Town to Perth on one of the longest stretches undertaken so far on this Exercise, 5000 nautical miles all the way to Perth, Australia. The yachts will depart from Cape Town on 7th or 8th October and should reach Perth in mid-November.

Tracking and position reports as well as more details about Exercise TRANSGLOBE are on the official website at:

– ends –

Notes to Editors:

  • The crew blogs are being uploaded to the official website but the crews are very restricted in the bandwidth and air time they can use, limited to two data bursts per week.  That means that you will see 4 blogs appear, followed three days later by another 3 and so on during the passage.  It also means that crews cannot send photographs via the Iridium system, but they will be captured and posted on the website after they reach their next stopover.

  • The aim of TRANSGLOBE is to provide members of all three British Armed Forces with the opportunity to develop their personal qualities and team skills in a challenging environment that will test their physical and mental stamina, their courage and help them develop self confidence and powers of leadership.  Every other leg is being used as an adventurous training exercise whilst the emphasis on the other legs will be to encourage a spirit of Corinthian competition between the Services.

  • It is 11 years since the last tri-services Transglobe sailing event took place and the boats used then were Nicholson 55s.  Offshore sailing is arguably the most demanding environment in which anyone can test their mental and physical toughness by getting the best out of their boat to arrive safely at their destination.

  • Each yacht has a crew of 14 comprising; Skipper, Mate and with the remaining crew divided into either two or three “watches”, each of which has an experienced ‘Watch Leader’.  Each Skipper must hold a Yacht Master Ocean qualification, be fully trained in dealing with medical emergencies (MFAS/MCAS) and formally authorised by OIC JSASTC.  The Mate must be at least a Yacht Master Offshore and also hold the MFAS/MCAS qualification. Watch Leaders must be a minimum of RYA Day Skipper qualified.  Of the remaining nine crew (using a 3 Watch system) there is a wide range of capability on board ranging from complete novices to RYA Competent Crew and higher.

  • Leg 4 will see the fleet sail from Cape Town to Perth on one of the longest stretches undertaken so far on this Exercise, 5000 nautical miles all the way to Perth, Australia. The yachts will depart from Cape Town in early October and should reach Perth in mid-November.


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