Iranian captive wants to sail round Britain
The Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race has been described as ‘a real test of seamanship’, and it has fired the imagination of two young sailors desperate to break into the demanding and, oh so often illusive, world of sponsored professional sailing.
The irresistible lure of this year’s event for the two aspiring sailors, Olly Young and Sam Goodchild, is the 12, and if they get their way, 13-strong Class 40 entry list. A fleet of that size racing the 2,000 miles round Britain will be close, exciting and a real chance to prove themselves in a highly competitive fleet.
Olly, 21, was one of the five member crew on board the Pindar Kingdom of Bahrain Volvo 60 which was seized by the Iranian Navy after it allegedly strayed into their waters. Boarded by guards waving machine guns, the crew were blindfolded and imprisoned in army barracks on Sirri Island. Of that ordeal he commented: “It was a terrifying time, we were kept in a small room with few facilities. But, as they looked after us pretty well, not knowing when we would be released was the worst part of our eight days in captivity.”
The experience has done nothing to dampen his passion for ocean sailing and the Round Britain and Ireland Race which starts and finishes from his home port of Plymouth, will certainly be unlikely to see a repeat of that experience.
Olly, continued: “I have put that way behind me now and I’m just keen to get on with my sailing career. This race is very important for me and Sam as it represents a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the Class 40s which is we where intend to be.”
Between the two of them they have clocked up over 70,000 miles of ocean sailing, not to mention Sam’s success in the RYA Match Racing series. A first and fourth with a third place at the Danish U23 Nationals and amongst many other ocean races the duo were on board the Open 60 Artemis for last year’s Fastnet Race finishing seventh.
Sam, 20, who lived in Falmouth before moving to Granada where he grew up on a boat with his sailing mad family, said: “This race is a great place to start out on our own and we want to be in the most competitive boat we can get hold of. If we’re successful our next event will be the Global Ocean Race which starts in October.”
Although they have committed to entering the race, they are urgently seeking more sponsors to enable then to charter one of the few Class 40s still available. For more information and to view their profiles please visit their website at www. yogoracing.com