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Jeremy Arnold 846

UK Flying Fifteens to Fremantle

Containers loaded and enroute

By the time you read this, a dozen Flying Fifteens should be enroute to Fremantle. The 2023 Worlds may still be over 3 months away, but with a predicted journey of 60 days, plus some contingency, we packed the boats into containers on 18 and 19 November.

To minimise road haulage miles in the UK, the containers were packed in Harlow only 45 minutes from the departure port (London Gateway). Arriving at 0800 to meet the first container meant an early start from Chew Valley! Others managed to travel the evening before. Thanks to Johnny Cooper for providing the loading site, a forklift, and extra manpower on the day.

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Neil, Dean and the organising committee in Fremantle have got us a great deal with shipping company MSC, without which the trip would be impossible. And MSC even went out of their way to make sure we had new, clean, and very visible yellow containers! Freight forwarding and customs arrangements are being handled by GAC Pindar.


There was some stress about whether we’d get each container loaded in the allotted 3 hours, but we did have some old hands to advise and keep us on track. Loading boats with keels on was straightforward with the use of some high-tech loading ramps courtesy of P&B (thanks Ian).


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The process was rather more involved for those of us travelling with keels off, and included some advance preparation to make sure the keels would come off easily on the day.

Keels were packed separately on plastic pallets (thanks Chris and Ovington) and many, many ratchet straps were employed (although I do still have a supply of spares…!)

We were very lucky to have fine weather on both days, between days of heavy rain either side, so thankfully the boats and kit all went into the containers dry.

When it came to it, the first container was packed in less than 2.5 hours, and by the time the same team got to the second we had that down to about 90 minutes. The next day we must have got complacent, or hung over, or maybe just talked too much – and managed to finish in the 3 hours!
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Fingers crossed now for a smooth journey and safe unloading at the Fremantle end, and we’ll be all set to go sailing in March. As well as the 12 boats shipping from the UK (including Campbell’s South African boat currently based at Chew Valley) there are some other UKFFA members who already have boats in Australia. The GBR team should be something like 14 boats out of a predicted fleet of 70.

Oh, and if you’re interested, you can track the boats on their way by looking up the ship CMA CGM Estelle

Article & Photos by Bill Chard
 

Live tracking of UK Flying Fifteens on their way to Freemantle 

(click the image) 

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SuperUser Account

The boat is now in Marseille

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