Wing Commander Simon Ling leads Team RAFBF Spitfire, a team of sailors made up of serving and ex-serving RAF personnel. In this blog, Simon tells us about the team's plans for 2013.
2012 was always going to be a big year for the team linked to our participation in the World Championships which were hosted in Dartmouth, UK.
We were delighted with our success over the three year campaign and to obtain a top ten finish at the worlds and then go on to win our class at Cowes Week was a real highpoint.
After this success we sat down and looked to plan the future direction for Team RAFBF Spitfire. Our plan was to find a new sailing challenge but to retain the aims and ethos behind Team Spitfire and to continue our support for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The worldwide launch of a new class of boat last summer, the J70, provided an exciting new challenge and after a short test sail, a decision was made to switch to this new and exciting class. The J70 is one metre smaller than our old boat but is half the weight of its older brother and so delivers far more performance.
As the J70 Class is so new, an opportunity became available to launch our boat at the UK's largest boat show. I am delighted that on Saturday 12 January, our new J70 "Spitfire II" was launched by paralympian John Robertson, with the team and our supporters, friends and family at the London Boat Show.
The boat was fully branded for the duration of the show not only with our striking Spitfire logo, but more importantly with the famous heart roundel of the RAF Benevolent Fund and the logo of our other principal supporter Prolinx.
Launching our new boat at such a high profile event was a great opportunity to promote the fantastic work of the RAF's welfare charity and the most wonderful way to start our campaign.
By Simon Ling