Chris Craven
Otaria

Boat Type: Van Der Stadt Seal 36
Sail Number: GBR 4082L
Rating: 0.896

Born in Totnes Devon and started sailing with the Sea Scouts in the early 1980s. After finishing education I served with the Royal Marines up until 1999.  Really got back into sailing from 2006 staring back to basics with a renovated Mirror dinghy then a National 12, then a Selway Fisher design similar to a Drascombe lugger.  I found an urge to go further afield and that meant bigger.  In 2010 I purchase a Super Seal 26 which allowed greater distances to be covered.  Still not satisfied I upgraded again to a Seadog 30 ketch which I sailed around the UK in 2014 as a fund raising stunt for the Royal Marines Association.  This raised just over £4,000.  I did port hop but kept the legs reasonably long averaging out at 2-3 day passages. I found the Seadog seaworthy but similar to sailing a brick caught up in a fishing net.  Nice traditional 1960/70 design at a time when fibreglass was laid as thick as you can get it.  I have since upgraded to a Vander Stadt Seal 36.  She has great lines, made of steel, comfortable and Blue water compliant.

What I found over the years is that I get greater personal satisfaction single-handed than with a crew.  Life seems much simpler, you only have yourself and the vessel to be concerned with, the self imposed OCD I think has greater benefits in the wider spectrum.  It has its testing moments and these do help one understand oneself and ones place in the world. 

Why the Fastnet – this is a good race, its a great course pushes the single-hander to plan, plot and perform in a great area of sea – there is coastal work and open water, the opportunity to pop out into the Blue water, manage oneself and the vessel with the aim of enjoying a good few beers at the end.  On a more formal note, I still represent the Royal Marines by raising funds for their associated Charities - these being the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and the PTSD charity Rock 2 Recovery UK.  Apart from my own sailing ambitions, I would like to use this event to advertise these causes.  Please note, I self fund the enterprises myself so that all monies raised go to where I believe its required.  I do understand that I wont be getting too many marks for speed but will have a bloody good go at giving others in her class of vessel competition.

Age - 45

Home port – Dartmouth

Vessel – Van Der Stadt Seal 36 sloop.

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Chris  Craven