Stinger

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SkipperAshley Rogers
Home PortRNZYS
Length Overall9 m
Boat DetailsReactor 29
IRC
Race Number

Hi my name is Ashley, I'm 34 and originally from Guatemala. I moved to New Zealand back in 2011 and fell in love with the people, the country and the way of life; ever since, I have been working hard to stay and make New Zealand my home. I will have to admit, before moving to New Zealand I used to be afraid and was not a fan of sailing at all. Upon my travels in Australia I read a book called "Dove" by Robin Lee Graham and that turned my outlook on sailing a 360 degree turn. I was now obsessed. My first adventure sailing in New Zealand was doing my Competent Crew course, over a 10 day sail from Auckland to Bluff onboard Tiama. When I got back to Auckland I tried to get on a boat everyday if I could. If not racing then I was cruising. I also had decided to continue with my education by doing my STCW95 and MROC at Mahurangi Tech, I also just recently completed my Boatmasters course with Boating Education. I still plan to continue my education with the hope to reach my Ocean Yachtmasters. 

I then quickly ventured offshore. My first experience was a delivery from Tahiti to Auckland, then I raced from Auckland to New Caledonia, then I raced from Auckland around the 3 kings and back, and my last offshore was a delivery from Sydney to Opua. Some of those trips were pleasant and others where full of storms with 70+ knots of wind and 8+metre swells. People still ask me why I want to cross the Tasman Solo? And well if I'm honest, I too, ask my self the same question! The challenge is imbedded deep inside, and all I can do is just follow it! Between the offshore racing/deliveries, I stayed as much involved with the inshore and coastal racing/cruising. 

The bug had bit me and I finally decided to purchase my own boat. Strider was her name, and significant she was. 28ft Sandy Jones design, that had circumnavigated New Zealand and had completed the Solo Trans Tasman Yacht Race in 2010. Straight after purchasing her, I made modifications to get her ready to race the 2013 Coastal Classic Yacht Race. We were the only all female crew to enter. Unfortunately, we did not meet the deadline, but we did complete the course. Not long after the race, I had a wee accident and Strider had sadly been written off. I wasn't going to let this stop me though, as I had already made it a goal in my head/heart that I was going to complete the 2018 Solo Trans Tasman Yacht Race, so I bought a new boat. Her name is Stinger, and she is 1 of 4 or 5 Reactor 29's, designed by Paul Whiting and built by John Rae. Tripple skin Kauri hull with a fiberglass cabin top/cockpit. She was built in 1974 to complete the Auckland to Gisborne race, of which she won 1st place!

I sailed her once and hauled her out of the water and into a shed. I was only to make a few modifications, but have now ended up doing a complete new refit. She has been fully gutted, decks off, cabin top off and remodified. She will no longer look anything like the boat I purchased. It's been a long journey already, and there is still very much to do to reach the start line. Hopefully I will have her in the water sooner rather than later to become one and ready to face the challenge together! You can follow my progress here: https://www.facebook.com/Guate.The.Solo.Challenge/

Although trying to complete the construction of my boat to be able to reach the start line and make it to the finish line, are already immense tasks in themselves, I'd like to take my project one step further. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about something that holds close to my heart; Mental health has taken a big part of my life in more ways than one, and I have decided that I would like to shed some light on this issue and bring more awareness to the world about Mental Health. As I have been doing research and communicating with various Mental Health Organisations, I have found that there are many more people out there trying to do the same, with a significant number of them being sailors. The project is still in the making. Please contact me if you would like to unite and try to make a bigger impact in bringing awareness to Mental Health with me. You can contact me here: the.solo.challenge@gmail.com

Lastly, I'd just like to say although I am very nervous to do this race, I am also very happy! I am happy to see that I will have fellow sailors, mentors, sponsors and especially friends that will be both at the start and finish line sharing the same experience/challenge along side me. Good luck and fair winds to all!

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Rogers

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