WEYMOUTH Sailing Club’s Al Doughty and Ian Cheke have qualified for this year’s Fastnet Race as a double handed team which starts on Saturday, August 3.

Before they can enter the race, they have to complete 300 nautical miles of offshore sailing and to do this have completed the ‘Cervantes race’ to Le Havre followed by the ‘Myth of Malham’, a 236-nautical mile course to the Eddystone rock and back to Cowes.

Former club commodore Kathy Claydon is herself campaigning her boat in the Junior Offshore Group (JOG) double-handed series, which races every two weeks usually across the Channel, although one visits Weymouth later in the year.

On the last race to Dielette on the Cotentin peninsular, she and her crew Phil managed a first against yachts much faster than hers and next races this weekend when she sets off to Alderney from Cowes.

Weymouth Sailing Club has also hosted two visiting fleets, beginning with the Affiliation of Service Yacht Clubs regatta contested by service personnel from the three armed services who used the clubhouse on Nothe parade as their official watering hole and race management centre.

As this was a Thursday evening, it was also a club race night and members had the chance to swap stories with visitors. Organiser Lieutenant Colonel Mike Barham said, “The opportunity to have a club that is as flexible and accommodating as yours on the intended racing route is an outstanding feature for the Race Committee to hold.”

The annual Transmanche race from Cherbourg arrived in Weymouth, the idea for which started a few years ago when Weymouth Sailing Club boats challenged Cherbourg Yacht club to a cross-Channel race.

With a delayed start from the Race in Cherbourg due to strong winds, the first crews arrived in the evening of Saturday evening.

They were welcomed at Weymouth Sailing Club on the Sunday with a traditional English barbecue cooked by club commodore Stephen Dadd and his wife Josie.

Considering the difficult weather conditions in the Channel or Manche, 80 sailors made it across, only to return early on Monday morning. Kathy Claydon and her crew on Arcsine was the first English boat to finish.