On a glorious afternoon on Sunday 20th September at Gosport Marina, Exercise ATLANTIC UBIQUE was officially launched.

At around half past 3 the RAYC flagship St Barbara V, with her crew from 295 Bty RA, slipped her moorings in front of the Boathouse Café and set sail en route to the Canary Islands via Madeira, a journey of over 1,500 nautical miles.

This is the first leg of 17 as St Barabara makes her way around the North Atlantic Ocean, an 11 month journey with each leg being led by a different Regiment of the Royal Artillery. This is the largest and most ambitious Corps expedition in a generation and a great opportunity for the many disciplines of the Royal Artillery, both Regular and Reserve, to come together and enjoy the share the endeavour and memory of trans-Atlantic sailing.

The launch day was a huge success, kicking off with a speech from Colonel Neil Wilson, who introduced the expedition to a sizeable crowd before handing over to General the Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, the exercise patron and Admiral of the RAYC.

“This is an exciting and challenging adventurous sailing expedition. It will develop the teamwork and leadership skills of all personnel who participate. Whether sailing across the Atlantic Ocean or cruising in the Canaries, Caribbean or along the eastern seaboard of the USA and Canada, it is a once in a lifetime sailing opportunity. Exercise ATLANTIC UBIQUE will be a chance for seasoned sailors and complete novices to experience the demands and extraordinary rewards of sailing in spectacular conditions”.

General Richards was invited to inspect St Barbara V, and was piped on board as first leg skipper Lawrence McCormack hoisted the Admiral’s burgee. He was talked through the passage plan for the first leg and gave it his seal of approval before meeting the crew, posing for a quick photograph and wishing them the best of luck.

The event was very well attended, with representatives from every regiment, club members, sponsors and families totaling over 60 people, all there to see off St Barbara on her way.

All present applauded as she cast off dressed overall, proudly sporting banners from her sponsors Aruns Sails and Inzpire.

The crew are due to arrive in the Canaries by the 10th of October where they will hand over to 103 Regt RA. We wish St Barbara and her crew a safe and speedy passage on this, the first leg of Exercise ATLANTIC UBIQUE.