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In this piece of video, compiled by Pete Warrington, there’s an interesting interview with some of the skippers who have just arrived for the OGA50 Round Britain Challenge welcome party in Grimsby, July 2013. They reflect on why they’ve taken part in this adventure and what membership of the OGA means to them.

Many members of the Round Britain Challenge fleet gathered in Grimsby, July 2013, enjoying some rare sunshine in their circumnavigation as guests of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Yacht Club. Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s largest ports group, handles 25% of all seaborne trade in and out of Britain and Grimsby is one of their busiest ports, others on the Humber being Hull, Goole and Immingham. The OGA is grateful for ABP’s generous sponsorship this year and this update includes a few facts and figures about ABP along with the usual extracts from OGA boats. Several local boats join the fleet as they enjoy the sunshine, musical entertainment and a barbecue.

Six miles wide at Spurn Point, the Humber historically separated Northumbria from the southern kingdoms of Saxon Britain. Formed by the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Trent, the estuary has fast-flowing currents, shifting sands and shallow waters, providing considerable challenges for navigation and pilotage. The Humber Estuary is the busiest trading estuary in the UK, home to four of ABP’s ports (Hull, Goole, Grimsby and Immingham) with more than 40,000 international shipping movements a year. The estuary handles 70 million tonnes of cargo annually including 15% of all UK crude oil capacity, 17% of the UK’s refined petroleum products, 27% of the UK’s iron ore capacity and 25% of the UK’s natural gas requirements. Hull Ferry Port handles more than a million passengers and over 10 million tonnes of traffic every year. The OGA is grateful to ABP for their generous sponsorship in this Anniversary year.

News from the fleet: July, 2013

We hear from the skipper of ‘Syene’ that as the shallow waters of the English east coast begin, she arrives safely into Grimsby after a somewhat frustrating ride down from Whitby: “a big spring tide, a three quarter sea and a shifty wind from the stern, the overfalls at Flamborough Head are exciting. Negotiating the crossing of the Humber we had a fast and cracking close hauled sail up to Grimsby, in time for a pint in the yacht club and a long sleep. Anchored just off the Cromer lifeboat station in 6.5 metres with a strong easterly flood tide and a gentle rolling swell. The sounds of the shore drift across through the fog. Anchor alarms set. I’m off to my bunk. Up at 05:00 for the next sail to Lowestoft.”

‘Bonita’ reports the greatest challenge of the day to be entering the lock at Grimsby. A member of the crew averts disaster when the bowsprit almost got caught in the lock gate due to an unpredictable eddy. ‘Witch’ is also safely in Grimsby, motor-sailing from Flamborough Head in order to catch the lock: “Humber VTS gave us permission to cross the shipping lane and we found our way up with the tide towards Grimsby. As we neared the lock we were met by a small fleet of welcoming boats from the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Yacht Club who showed us the way. Unfortunately we then had to lurk outside the lock for an hour and a quarter while a ship didn’t come out. Eventually berthed up at the yacht club we were welcomed with a barbecue and an open mike night.”