Wing Commander Simon Ling is skipper of Team Spitfire, a sailing team of serving and former RAF personnel and longtime supporters of the RAF Benevolent Fund. Simon fills us in on the team's progress in this blog.
We formed Team Spitfire three years ago, specifically with the aim of representing Great Britain at the world championships.
We also wanted to promote the good work of the RAF Benevolent Fund along the way and we proudly fly the RAF Benevolent Fund Heart Roundel on our sails and clothing. The roundel often draws questions from sailing fans, and we’re always happy to fill people in about the great support the charity offers serving and former RAF personnel in need.
I’m proud to say that today Team Spitfire have achieved our founding aim – today we will begin our very own Battle of Britain with the start of the J80 World Sailing Championships in Dartmouth. The event will see us compete against 77 teams from as far afield as Hong Kong and America over four days.
We have had a good build up to the event, and both the boat and team are ready, so we hope to be competitive. The event promises to be challenging, with unsettled weather forecast and a fleet that boasts an impressive pedigree of sailing talent with a host of national, international and former Olympic champions – so wish us luck!
Over the coming months we'll post updates on our racing at events like the Round the Island Race on 30 June, Cowes Week in August and the national championships in September. We'll fly the RAF Benevolent Fund flag with pride throughout.
By Simon Ling