Dave Pugh reports on the progress of the RYA cross-channel cruise, and tries a little Brainjuice...

The RYA ‘Cruising in Company’ fleet moored in Cherbourg this evening, after a day of light airs and smooth seas. Most boats have been forced to motor continuously during the voyage, but spirits are none the less high. I stepped aboard ‘Brainjuice’, a Catalina 320, to talk about the cruise.

The unusual name of ‘Brainjuice’ is a mixture of Jane and Bruce, who have owned her for eighteen months. Bruce, a retired engineering consultant, is a keen dinghy sailor and regularly races Lasers at his local club. An erstwhile Tornado racer, he has competed in the Nationals, once gaining third place! After retirement two years ago, he decided to try sailing bigger boats, and bought ‘Brainjuice’ after gaining his Dayskipper certificate and completing the shorebased part of the Yachtmaster course. He sails ‘Brainjuice’ with his wife Jane, and the crew for this voyage also includes his son Richard and girlfriend Fiona, both enthusiastic dinghy racers in their own right.

Jane and Bruce have shown a very prudent approach to sailing larger boats, and have come on board the RYA cruise for both the companionship and the support offered by an organised voyage. Before undertaking their first crossing of the English Channel, the family have extensively cruised the Solent area. Their passion for dinghy sailing has given them a distinct head-start in the yachting world however – ‘Brainjuice’ carries some of the best-trimmed sails in the fleet!

Tomorrow the boats will remain in Cherbourg while the crews soak up the French spirit (or possibly vin rouge). Watch this space for another interview with those who choose to cruise in company!