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Army officers race to finish
10:00am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
AN Army officer based at the army headquarters in Andover has become part of the first female Army team to enter and complete the Fastnet offshore yacht race.
Major Heidi Spencer, 38, an officer in the Adjutant General’s Corps, was part of a team that was made up of only a small cohort of females in a field of 336 yachts.
Eight women serving in the Army completed the challenging 45th biennial Fastnet yacht race last week on their vessel ‘Redcoat’, a Sigma 38, and became the first ever all-female Army entry.
The gruelling race covers 600 nautical miles and this year the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship event saw the largest entry of vessels in its 88-year history.
Heidi said: “The race was not quite as challenging as I anticipated as the weather was quite kind to us this year but physically we have all taken an utter battering.
“It was hard, coming up on deck in the pitch black and you can’t see any other boats.
“Its like driving without your headlights on, with your windows and doors wide open and you could fall out at any time, exhilarating but challenging at the same time.”
The team brought their vessel safely over the finish line at 2am on the 15 August, coming 57th out of 82 in their class and are hoping that this will inspire other women across the Army to participate in sailing in the future.
Heidi, from North Devon, works as part of personnel operations.
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