The Bay of Biscay expedition is a unique event, that is part high class training, part adventure sailing and part fun race between three exciting 57-60′ yachts.
Adventure Sailing: Bay of Biscay Expedition
Maximum adventure. World class training. Join a unique sailing adventure in the autumn of 2024 as three 60′ expedition yachts set sail from England to Spain. The Bay of Biscay, one of the great sailing challenges, awaits en route. Open to single crew members or groups, and with an emphasis on building skills and confidence.
Prior to the start of the sailing, you’ll have a full shore based training day with headline speakers. In 2024 this will include Mike Golding, OBE 4 x Vendee Globe Racer and Round the World Race winner; Miranda Merron, competitor in the Jules Verne Trophy with Tracey Edwards and raced in the 2020–2021 Vendée Globe; Simon Rowell, Round the World race skipper and meteorologist to the British Olympic Sailing Team
Starting in Falmouth, UK, ending in Vigo on Spain’s Galician coast, the Bay of Biscay expedition is 13 superb days of sailing, training and exploring. (Event open to all sailors with RYA Day Skipper / ASA 104 or above or equivalent skills & experience).
600 miles. 27 crew. 13 days. 3 yachts. 1 huge adventure: will you be onboard?
- A mixture of coastal and offshore sailing
- Maximum adventure on the route from England to Spain via France
- 3 x 57-60′ offshore expedition yachts
- Loads of real world skills development, but some R&R and fun social events too!
During your sailing adventure you’ll be on board as guest crew with up to eight other sailors alongside two professionals on a 60ft blue water expedition yacht. Onboard expect to learn a lot, brush up skills, explore and have fun with a group of like-minded individuals. With 90% joining these sailing adventures solo it’s usually a 50:50 male and female split. Be it a coastal, offshore voyage or skill building sailing trip these sailing experiences are ideal for both new and experienced sailors joining solo or in groups. Most routes don’t require previous sailing experience and top quality training on the yacht is embedded into all of them.
Complete an enquiry form for full details!
Why you'll love this adventure
- Mix intensive sail training with a fun adventure
- Sail a world-class boat with instruction from expert Skippers
- Cross the legendary Bay of Biscay
13 October 2024
25 October 2024
The Bay of Biscay Adventure Rally is a unique event, that is part high class training, part adventure sailing and part fun rally/race between three exciting 57-60′ yachts.
No two adventure sailing itineraries are the same! That’s what makes it exciting and so special. If you complete an enquiry we can share an indicative guide to the voyage break down from training days, shore days and life at sea, but the wind and the weather ultimately shape what's possible each day - whether the weather is glorious or cold and harsh - but that's what the adventure's all about!
- All food and accommodation on board
- All sailing tuition
- Your own bunk and storage area
- Highest quality lifejacket
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here).
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
- Any meals you eat ashore.
- Any optional paid excursions offered by the crew.
The 60 foot ocean going expedition yacht was previously a round the world race boat and was built for adventure sailing and long distance blue water sailing! The accommodation on the yacht is comfortable, warm and spacious. Each bunk is 6′ 7″ long and has its own USB charger and light. There are two toilets, a shower, hot water and lots of food!
You get your own bunk on board and sleeping is in one 8 berth cabin not private cabins. This gives everyone plenty of space and each bunk has a lee cloth that you can pull up for a cozy private sleep.
The expedition yacht has two heads (toilets) and two showers, a generous accommodation area and a smaller galley (kitchen) and saloon.
In three words… Nutritious, delicious and local. Expect to eat very well on board! Ocean sailing is an exercise in using food creatively but you can experience lovely warm meals, as much as you can eat, freshly baked bread and more. The operator can cater for most diets and have loads of fruit and veggies on board. If you have any severe allergies you must check before booking.
Everyone takes their turn at cooking. Don’t panic if you’re not much of a chef – you’ll get paired up with someone else, and the skipper will provide recipes as needed.
In Norway maybe you’ll have roast lamb with all the trimmings, in the Caribbean it may be baked plantain with ackee and butterbeans, and in the Azores, the crew look to find some of their famously sweet pineapples.
Who is this trip for?
Age and Experience: These adventure sailing holidays are open to anyone aged 18 – 70 years. For this voyage you need to be at RYA Day skipper or equivalent.
Fitness to Sail: We believe that as many people as possible should be able to head out to sea and have a great adventure. However, it is essential for everyone’s safety that you are in a fit enough state to be on board.
Ability to complete the five exercises is a prerequisite for joining as a crew member.
Be able to lift 2 full bags of shopping five times, ten jumps with raised arms, stand on each leg for a minimum of five seconds, ten squats, ten step ups.
The exercises are not designed to be physically taxing and almost everyone should be able to complete them. Rather they are in place to check that you have the stability and basic physical condition to be on-board. If when you join the vessel the skipper believes you are not capable of completing these exercises, you will probably not be allowed to embark.
If you have any doubts at all about your ability to complete these exercises safely, you must contact your doctor before attempting them.
An adventure sailing holiday on board an expedition yacht is unlike any other type of holiday you could choose. It’s all about teamwork. Everyone gets involved in every task – cooking, cleaning, prepping, navigating, steering and trimming sails. The skipper and mate are there to show you how and keep things nicely organised to make for a happy crew on board. If you are looking for a beach holiday or a skippered charter, these sailing adventures are not for you. But if you want to be an integral part of an exciting expedition, then you will thrive. Importantly, no one should worry about needing to be good at everything (or anything!).
The Bay of Biscay expedition offers a unique blend of high-class training, adventurous sailing, and a thrilling race among three exciting 57-60′ yachts.
On the pre-event training day, participants arrive at the Falmouth Maritime Museum and are divided into three crews—Starling, Bluejay, and Hummingbird. They meet their skippers and mates over coffee and croissants, and the main event begins with an introduction by Bruce Jacobs, founder of of the rally, discussing the spirit of adventure underlying these types of events. A lineup of world-class sailors, including Mike Golding OBE, Miranda Merron, and Simon Rowell, shares their experiences and advice.
For 2023, the expedition boasts its best-ever lineup of famous sailors.
The first day on the water is a big acclimatization day, with crews gently guided through key skills and training to polish individual and group abilities. The theoretical day prepares for the first major sail—a 100-mile journey to Brest on the northwest coast of France. The three crews, each on their own yacht, test themselves on this 16-hour sail, not a race but an interesting comparison.
In Brest, crews can enjoy an evening around the Quai Commandant-Malbert area and take in the spectacular sights. The expedition then sails across the Bay of Biscay to Spain, carefully monitoring the weather for a favorable passage. With around 340 miles to sail on a southwesterly heading, crews experience spectacular sailing, realizing the special capabilities of their yachts offshore.
The crossing takes about 2-3 days, with crews in a full watch system, navigating through day and night. The likely destination is A Coruna, a historic and modern port city in Galicia, Spain. After the British autumn, crews find themselves in warm, sunny Spain, enjoying a sense of having sailed to a new country. The expedition concludes with all three yachts docked in Vigo, Spain, for a final celebration before crew members part ways.
With strictly limited places, participants are encouraged to grab their place on the Bay of Biscay Expedition today, with the USD price subject to exchange rate variation.
Do I need experience?
As this is a Skipper Masterclass, no beginners are permitted to join. You must have RYA Day Skipper, ASA 104 or equivalent skills and experience. It doesn’t matter if they are rusty – that is what this course is here to address. This course is invaluable to all levels up to and including Yachtmaster.
Do people come alone?
Almost everyone comes alone. Couples and groups are very welcome to join too. On the whole, however, most crew join solo and so if you are coming alone, you will be one of the crowd!
How many people are on board?
Except in exceptional circumstances, we limit the crew size to 9 (except for Atlantic crossings) plus two instructors. This means that there are enough people to sail the boat safely, but you will still have lots of time helming, navigating, trimming sails and such like.
Is this a sailing holiday?
Absolutely! First and foremost, it’s about having an amazing time. Sailing is about having fun, experiencing nature at its most majestic and gently pushing yourself to try and learn new things. This voyage will be a unique mix of sailing and training.
Who else joins?
You’ll be in the company of like minded individuals from all around the world. It’s an even mix of men and women and with an average age of 35-65 but we welcome sailors 18 – 70 years. Experience varies from none at all to Yachtmaster. Most of the crew would describe themselves as having a rusty Day Skipper.
What insurance do I need?
All crew must have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday. Please make an enquiry for this trip in order to get full details on insurance.
Will I be able to get RYA certification and training?
Training is at the heart of these voyages. The opportunities vary depending on the voyage and your existing experience. On Coastal trips, you can earn the RYA Competent Crew certificate. The price is included in the trip price. On Offshore trips, you can earn the RYA Competent Crew certificate and, with sufficient skills and experience, you can act as a Watch Leader and complete your qualifying passage for RYA Yachtmaster Ocean.
Can I join as a watch leader?
You may sign on to an ocean trip as Watch Leader providing you have RYA Coastal Skipper or international equivalent or equivalent skills and experience.
What about my RYA Ocean Qualifying passage?
The Ocean Passage voyages offered by this operator are suitable for Ocean qualifying passages except for the rare exception. Make an enquiry to see if this voyage is suitable. You must have completed a qualifying passage within the past 10 years as skipper or mate in sole charge of a watch on a suitable vessel. You must have been fully involved in the planning of the passage, including selection of the route, the navigational plan, checking the material condition of the vessel and her equipment, storing with spare gear, water and victuals and organising the watch-keeping routine. Your time onboard as a watch leader on board one of the sailing voyages offered by this operator achieves all of these requirements.
We love this sailing company’s ethos – to help people do three things: sail, train and explore. They are passionate about enabling people to experience life out on the open ocean, building sailing skills and exploring some beautiful countries. After years of training people to become professional sailors, and having covered thousands of miles between them, the company Founders realised that so many people had dreamt of setting off across an ocean, but hadn’t the skills, the boat or crew to make those dreams come true.
The company now runs expeditions on a specialised 60’ yacht to some of the most exciting places out there – often largely inaccessible from land. With no previous sailing experience required, the two instructors will guide you every step of the way as you develop your sailing skills, maybe even earning an RYA qualification during the week. Exploring on land as they go is just as important and the bikes and a kayak mean you can head off and enjoy everything there is to see along the route.
Bay of Biscay Sailing Expedition 2024
Please complete the enquiry form above with as much detail as you can and we will send you all the trip information and connect you with the operator so you can make a booking directly.
If you have queries and questions about the trip include those in your form and we’ll personally reply to you within 24 hours.
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