Cowes To Cherbourg In An SB3 Dinghy

12 October 2010

Jon Burgess confesses to be a man who likes a challenge!  Having spent 15 years in a rally car – and having built 3 of them himself – he took up sailing in 2004.  He has already achieved the qualification of Commercially Endorsed Offshore Yachtmaster and completed the Fastnet Race in 2009.  Plus he’s notched up an impressive 3,600nm sailing, mostly in the English Channel, though he does admit to enjoying some more relaxed (and probably warmer) sailing abroad with his sons and with friends.

Jon bought SB3 ‘Serene Affair’ with a view to doing some racing, but found other things got in the way.  However as he is shortly to turn 50, Jon feels it is now high time to push the both of them, so he dreamed up a new challenge for himself and his SB3.  The plan is that on 18th June 2011 he and Serene Affair, plus crew, will set sail from Cowes to Cherbourg, a journey of 85 nautical miles and in doing so will raise funds for Sail 4 Cancer as an added impetus to achieve their goal.

Weather conditions, strong tides and heavy sea traffic are some of the factors that Jon will have to contend with.  He will have a support vessel skippered by friend and colleague Martin Hills, and has already submitted a proposal/risk assessment document to the relevant authorities, but on the day itself the success of the challenge will be down to the skill and judgement of Jon and his crew.

Crew List

  • Jon Burgess
  • Barry Atkinson
  • Sam Burgess

UPDATE: Mother Nature Halts Plans

Despite months of logistical planning, in getting 3 crews ready plus a support yacht & van for this weekend’s Cowes 2 Cherbourg challenge – to cross the English Channel in a 22′ dinghy, Mother Nature has had her say in matters.

12 people consisting of 2 land crew, 7 on the support yacht and 2 on board the SB3 were bitterly disappointed to hear the news that event organiser & skipper of the SB3, Jon Burgess, has had to bow to impending weather conditions.

When asked Jon said:

“It didn’t matter which weather model I looked at, they were all forecasting 25+ kts of wind Saturday lunchtime onwards, exactly when I expected to be in the middle (of the Channel).”

Even the prospect of consoling themselves with a sail on the support yacht ‘Beaurepere’ within the Solent could become an exercise in heavy weather sailing.

The Sail 4 Cancer flags will still be flown on next weekend’s 80th J P Morgan Round the Island race (June 25th) and the Cowes to Cherbourg event will be rescheduled – it is hoped for this year.

Jon declared:

“The logistics of getting everybody together, with both land & sea support vehicles, is a challenge in itself.  But as soon as a date is fixed we’ll go again!”


Cowes To Cherbourg In An SB3 Dinghy
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