Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race challenge to raise money for a care home

by Jonathan Moon 11 Apr 11:16 BST
Jonathan Moon will be sailing in the Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race to raise money for St Cross Grange care home © Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com

Jonathan Moon, a Hampshire resident, is due to take part in the Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race Challenge, a 700-mile offshore race, to raise money for St Cross Grange care home in Winchester where his dad currently resides. St Cross Grange specialises in dementia care and is part of Greensleeves Homes Trust, a registered charity providing personalised residential, dementia and nursing care. Mr Moon is undertaking the challenge with the Sail Racing Academy out of Hamble.

The money raised from the challenge will go towards purchasing a Tovertafel (Magic Table in Dutch) for the residents at St Cross Grange care home. It is a £7,000 piece of equipment developed for and with people in the moderate to severe stages of dementia. The interactive games break through apathy by stimulating both physical and cognitive activity and encouraging social interaction.

Jonathan Moon decided to undertake this challenging race just as his dad, Paul, did 40 years ago on a UFO 31 yacht called "The Happy Return". The challenge will start in Cowes, and finish in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock off the SW tip of Ireland.

Jonathan Moon said: "I still recall going to watch the start from the Green at Cowes, and the feeling of excitement and worry, after all this was my Dad, my hero, the man who taught me how to sail, heading off into a race that 2 years before had taken the lives of 15 sailors.

Fast forward 40 years, and my Dad now lives in a care home in Winchester with Lewy Body Dementia - the same form that led to the death of the actor Robin Williams.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of him taking part in the Fastnet, and I have decided I should do this race, and by doing so, help raise money for the care home my Dad lives in."

Adding even more poignancy to the occasion, Jonathan's cousin, Oliver Moon, will now be taking part in the race. Oliver sailed in the 1981 Fastnet challenge with both his and Jonathan's fathers, as the youngest competitor at only 15 years old. Sadly, Oliver lost his father just a few short months later, meaning the 1981 race was the last time Oliver would race with him.

Despite having been so young, Oliver clearly remembers the events of the first race, saying: "It was slightly daunting as the previous race had made national headlines for tragic reasons and we were one of the smallest boats in the race. At 15, I was also the youngest competitor, but I had sailed offshore in the boat in bad weather and at night before and, with my dad, my uncle, and my godfather Rob on board, it honestly never occurred to me that it could be anything other than a fun adventure. Another old friend of my dad's, Barry, completed the crew.

It was indeed an adventure that I will always remember, particularly as my father sadly died suddenly and unexpectedly a few short months later, at the age of 36. So, much though I couldn't have known at the time, the '81 Fastnet Race and the delivery trip home to Essex afterwards was my last ever sailing trip with him.

So, with my lovely wife's encouragement and at least partly in memory of my father, I am very pleased to have the chance to join Jon, along with Germaine and the rest of the crew. Hopefully, 40 years on, we will be able to recapture the same spirit of togetherness, fun and adventure that I remember so fondly, and I am absolutely delighted to support Jon's fund-raising efforts to help his dad, my uncle Paul, and the others in St Cross Grange."

First conceived way back in 1925 as a 608 nm challenge ending in Plymouth, 2021 will see the end point of the race move to Cherbourg, France, bringing this testing course up to nearly 700 nautical miles and the first major change to the course for nearly 100 years. Seen by many veterans as a number of smaller races encompassed by one big race it has played a large role in the growth of offshore racing and it certainly challenges all of your physical and mental skills.

The race will start from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, around 300 boats pass the Needles, heading along the southern coast of England towards the Lizard then around the tip of Land's End. From there, the boats will head north through Celtic Sea waters towards the Fastnet Rock on the southern tip of Ireland. Once around the Rock, they will head back southwards, round the Scilly Isles then south east across the English Channel towards Cherbourg.

Jonathan Moon said of his fundraising challenge: "My Dad is still my hero, and if by my following his footsteps, could possibly help raise the money the home needs to provide the equipment to help enrich his life, and those of all the residents, that is a challenge I am happy to take on.

I will be sailing with Germaine Williams and the team at Sail Racing Academy, and they have generously offered to assist in the fund raising during this Fastnet Cycle."

If you would like to sponsor Jonathan Moon please visit gofund.me/a0602f45

Related Articles

Vendée Globe heroes join Rolex Fastnet Race
The race is a qualifier for November's Transat Jacques Vabre Almost six months after they competed in the world's most brutal race, the singlehanded non-stop lap of the planet that is the Vendée Globe, many of the IMOCA fleet will be returning to the race course for the first time in August's Rolex Fastnet Race. Posted on 10 Jun
Rolex Fastnet Race adapts with border restrictions
The organisers are taking all the necessary steps to welcome the competitors in the best conditions The next edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday 8th August and for the first time in its history, the race will finish in Cherbourg, France. Posted on 28 May
The largest, most diverse offshore yacht race
450+ yachts entered in this year's 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race With 450+ yachts entered in this year's 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event has consolidated its position as the biggest offshore yacht race in the world. Posted on 20 May
World's fastest tris set for Rolex Fastnet Race
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild headlines the Ultimes taking part While the Vendée Globe grabbed headlines over the winter with a record fleet of 31 boats, France boasts a yet more extraordinary fleet of boats - the Ultimes. Posted on 5 May
Rolex Fastnet Race - More than a race
Taking part to experience the challenge, a lifelong ambition, an adventure While Rolex Fastnet Race will be highly competitive, for many among the record-sized entry of 453 yachts, the objective of tackling the 695 mile course from Cowes to Cherbourg via the legendary rock off southwest Ireland is just to get round successfully. Posted on 19 Apr
Rolex Fastnet Race doublehanding goes supernova
Entry has soared to 89 yachts, a giant step up from 2019's 64 Doublehanded offshore racing had been gaining popularity with the Rolex Fastnet Race's IRC Two Handed class almost doubling in size between 2009 and 2019. Posted on 29 Mar
Rolex Fastnet Race: Classic fantastics
Oldest among the giant 400+ boat fleet is Amokura As the Rolex Fastnet Race approaches its 50th edition and the 100th anniversary of the RORC two years later, so we can expect to see more classic yachts taking part with ancient associations to what has grown into the world's largest offshore yacht race. Posted on 16 Mar
Performance 40s set for Rolex Fastnet Race
One of the most popular 'classes within a class' with more than 50 entries In this August's Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the most popular 'classes within a class' will be the Performance 40. At present more than fifty of these racer-cruisers and cruiser-racers are currently entered in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's pinnacle event. Posted on 4 Mar
IRC winners return for Rolex Fastnet Race
2017's victor Didier Gaudoux is at present the only one returning with the same boat It is inevitable that many past winners, be they of line honours, individual classes or of the main IRC overall prize, the Fastnet Challenge Trophy, should be among the record 400+ strong entry in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's flagship event in 2021. Posted on 10 Feb
Rolex Fastnet Race entry numbers smash all records
Within an hour an unprecedented 400 boats had entered RORC's flagship event Within an hour an unprecedented 400 boats had entered the Royal Ocean Racing Club's flagship event, which this year will follow a route finishing for the first time in France. Posted on 12 Jan