Naval Academy Regattas

  • Author: Nichola Aldridge
  • Date: Wednesday 17th May 2017
Naval Academy Regattas

Two young officers (YOs) from BRNC travelled to Galicia in Spain to take part in a sailing regatta marking the 300th anniversary of the Spanish Naval Academy.

The Escuela Naval Militar hosted YOs from 12 European countries over the Easter leave period to compete against each other for the ‘Las Anclas’ trophy.  The regatta also included some civilian sailing teams from Spain, France, Italy and even Norway. 

Midshipman (Mid) Joe Howell and Officer Cadet Jessica Beckett represented BRNC, accompanied by Lieutenant Paul White, one of the navigation instructors at the College. The competition provided a fantastic opportunity to learn about different Naval Officer training that takes place around Europe. 

Snipe dinghies were used throughout the competition which was a new experience for the BRNC team. The Snipe is a more technical dinghy compared to the trusty Bosun dinghy used for training at Dartmouth.  Initially the pair struggled with the unknown vessel and coupled with a lack of wind on the practice days the team set out with somewhat mediocre expectations for their final results.

The races were split into three long courses on the first day and two shorter ones on the second, with only four of the placings being counted for the final result. By the time the races began the wind had picked up considerably and the team were starting to get to grips with the Snipe. 

At the end of day one the BRNC team were in seventh place against the six other Naval academy teams and 47th out of the total 60 teams taking part. Of the 44-non-military sailing teams the majority were high-level competitors.  After getting to grips with the boat on the second day, the team managed to climb to fifth position out of the academies, beaten by Norway, Germany, Poland and one of the Spanish academy teams.

Lt White said: “For these two YOs to have the opportunity to represent the RN and meet their peers in other Navies from across Europe so early in their careers is an excellent way of showing the inter-operability of allied forces.  This time they met as friends in the more relaxed yet competitive environment of a regatta; next time they will likely be operating together as part of a multinational task group or on exercise.”

BRNC also sent a dingy sailing team to represent the RN at a regatta in Italy.  The team finished in third place out of 17 teams, losing out to a very good Spanish team and a tactical Chinese team.

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