The RYA's most far-flung Training Centre has just arrived in the UK after some seriously bracing high latitude adventures.
The Pelagic Australis RYA Training Centre takes its name from a 23 Metre (74ft) aluminium sloop, skippered by Yachtmaster Ocean Examiner Stephen WILKINS. A former BT Global Challenge skipper and lecturer in seamanship skills at the Australian Maritime College (also an RYA Training Centre), Stephen has played an important role in the development of the RYAs training activities in Australia. As well as teaching the Yachtmaster syllabus, the yacht provides a moving base for diving, research and mountaineering expeditions.
The Yacht is a Tony Castro/ Skip Novak design, built to stand the rigours of extreme latitude cruising, her recent trip to Antarctica took in the staggering latitude of 66 degrees South. Capable of breaking through pack ice with her 225 hp diesel engine, she was built in South Africa for a cost of about 1.8M US Dollars. In her recent trip back from Chile, Pelagic Australis covered 7905 nautical miles in just seven weeks and is now enjoying a well earned rest in Hamble Yacht Services, Southampton.