Promarine Finance Director completes Aegean 600 Sailing Race after three year delay

Written by Stuart Austin

Last month, I was lucky enough to take part in the Aegean 600 Sailing Race, sailing on our boat, ‘Quick Decision’. Plans for us to enter the race began before the boat was purchased in March 2020 — just as the UK was sent into lockdown due to Covid-19. Two years later, after restrictions had eased and lockdowns had been lifted, we entered and competed in the race as a crew of four, far from prepared for what we had signed up for. 

By the 2023 race, Quick Decision had a full crew of six, featuring three original team members plus Jack Karger of Vagabonde Adventures as Co-Skipper. Prior to the start of the race, we delivered the boat to the starting point, entered the practice race, and passed scrutineering. With the assistance of Simon Forbes of MOCRA, the team reduced its handicap to be in line with the race’s two other Outremer 4X entrants. The MOCRA fleet consisted of three 4Xs — Quick Decision, Lynx and Fortunae, and a Trimaran Corsair 970 called Saygi. 

The race began at 2.30 pm on Sunday 9 July — with our fleet following IRC1 and Maxi, which included the race winner, Leopard 3. On the first tack, Quick Decision’s port genoa barber hauler snapped, followed by the starboard side on the second tack. We rigged alternatives, but lost a little time to Lynx. By 3.46 pm, we hit the first wind hole, holding us back alongside Lynx — which amazingly managed to escape! We were left to wallow until 4.56 pm, when we were able to rejoin the pursuit — seven nautical miles behind Lynx.

Promarine's Stuart Austin during the Aegean 600 boat race

We hit the next wind hole at 9.30pm, North of Adamantas, trapping several racers. Following helpful advice from our friend Captain Nathan Mills of Oceata prior to the race, Quick Decision managed to sneak through until the next wind hole between 2.10 – 3.20 am. From south of Adamantas, we fast reached Thira and Santorini in great conditions.

We then sailed south, holding our A2 to 17 knotts (kn) before being overpowered. Other boats including Phaedra managed to hold full sail and pull away. At 25 kn, we had three reefs in our main and launched the A5, hitting a top speed of 20.7 kn towards Kasos — the windy corner above Crete. We should have launched the A5 earlier.

By Tuesday evening, we began our windward slog heading NE towards Karpasos and Rhodes. Here, we experienced 30 kn wind gusts but managed to get by with J3 and three reefs in main. On this tack, we were losing position to the monohulls and should have increased sail sooner. We rounded Rhodes too far off the land and hit another dead spot but were able to quickly head to Kandelioussa. 

By chance, I had made a log entry to learn that we were in exactly the same position as we were in 2022 — but a massive 12 hours ahead of ourselves! We were very happy about this. 

After rounding Kandelioussa we began heading towards Kos early on Wednesday morning. At 3.50 am we had another dead stop only to see La Pescadora escape ahead of us. By 8.50 am, we once again found ourselves in the exactly the same position we had been in 2022 — this time, 39 hours ahead in spite of sailing 30 nm further!

Most of Wednesday was spent tacking upwind to Agathonisi, the top corner of the course. It was frustrating being overtaken by several monohulls that were able to sail closer to the wind. At 9.00 pm, we were able to bear away towards Mykonos. At this point in last year’s race, as a crew of 4 we were exhausted and we had decided not to finish (DNF), so this was a really significant moment for us.

a photo taken during the Aegean 600 race

At 10.00 pm, south of Ikaria, we hit another wind hole, eventually heading towards Mykonos Gate in 15 – 20 kn winds and hitting 12 kn boat speed and managed to overhaul some of the monohulls. The Mykonos Gate was gentle enough to clear on one tack but as feared we reached the mother of all wind holes at 6.30 am on Thursday. We’d sailed 675 nm of a 605 nm race and after 24 hours of drifting we discussed whether it was time to call it a day. We were so close to the end and had received lots of support from family, friends and Oceata so decided it was important to keep going! 

From Mykonos, we drifted until 2.00 am on Friday for 40 nm. Then, we gained a little speed and wind. It was demoralising seeing so many monos pass us during this last 30 hours and it became an endurance test just to finish.

a photo taken of Promarine's boat, Quick Decision, taken during the aegean 600 boat race

At 6.00 am, Oscar caught a Tunny Tuna, which was prepared for later celebrations ashore. We spent 8.00 – 10.00 am in another wind hole, hoping to catch Artemis before the finish line, but reached another dead stop at 12.20 pm. We were lucky to experience some wind across the final 100 metres and crossed the finish line with main and C3 at 2.04.39 pm on Friday 14 July. The finish picture says it all – pure elation and so pleased we decided to stick with it.

I have often read that messages of support are what make all the difference to long distance athletes and I can confirm that’s true after completing this year’s race during which we received fabulous support and encouragement. The team and I are so grateful. We had a great crew, fantastic camaraderie, and we very much hope to be a part of this amazing race next year!

We would also like to thank the organisers lead by Konstantinos and his team and highly recommend to all sailors.

Promarine Finance attends Southampton International Boat Show 2023

Join us at Britain’s biggest boating festival, Southampton International Boat Show, from Friday 15 September – Sunday 24 September 2023.

If you are planning to attend, don’t forget to visit stand E012 to speak to a member of the Promarine Finance team and discuss all things marine finance. 

We’re proud of our simple, quick and flexible finance solutions for boat ownership and want to help as many people as possible get out on the water. In fact, we’ve helped more than 1,000 boaters do just that — from first time buyers to veteran boaters.

Come to our stand, chat with us, and we can discuss how best to get you started on your boat buying journey. Want to find out if you’re eligible for boat finance? Try our Boat Finance Calculator today. 

It’s not too late to book your ticket to Southampton International Boat Show 2023! Take advantage of our exclusive discount code below.


To access the discounted tickets:

  • Visit the Southampton International Boat Show ticket page. 
  • Enter the promo code 
  • Once the promo code has been activated, select the ‘Exhibitor Promotion’ dropdown to reveal the discounted ticket – this will be highlighted with a green border. 
  • Select the number of tickets you would like to purchase, add them to your basket and complete the checkout process.

Promarine Finance is a leading provider of marine finance. To find out if you’re eligible, get a quote today.

Promarine Finance introduces variable rate marine mortgages to combat increasing interest rates

In a bid to continue to offer affordable marine mortgages during the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK, Promarine Finance has introduced a new repayment plan. 

Since its launch in 2010, Promarine Finance has been offering fixed-rate marine mortgages to customers all over the UK. These affordable loans, usually spanning 10 years and occasionally a little longer for new-build boats, help boat lovers purchase the vessel of their dreams. 

As the ongoing cost of living crisis continues to impact businesses and individuals, boat lovers and marine mortgage lenders like ourselves are among those affected by increasing interest rates, vessel value, and additional boating costs. 

Whether you have been saving for the boat of your dreams or want to get on the property ladder via a liveaboard, a marine mortgage enables you to put down a deposit and pay back a monthly loan, while being able to make the most of your new purchase. 
Recently the UK’s Bank Rate, which determines the interest rate and influences bank charges, has seen a substantial increase. So what does this mean for boat buyers and all types of lenders?

Fixed rate vs variable rate

Typically, a fixed interest rate marine mortgage gives customers peace of mind, providing a known monthly budget and Promarine add a benefit of a ‘no penalty’ early settlement option. While interest rates are volatile, lenders offering fixed rate loans must factor in potential future increases to interest rates. 

Variable rates, on the other hand, operate in a similar way to traditional house mortgages. When interest rates rise, so does your repayment as a result. This can be challenging for customers as they have little control over the cost of their monthly payments. 

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. So, we have come up with a solution.

Promarine Finance’s variable rate repayment solution

Promarine Finance is introducing a new variable rate repayment option for buyers that enables us to price without the interest rate risk. Instead of increasing the monthly repayment, we will increase the repayment period. In turn, customers can stay on top of their monthly payments, and when interest rates are lowered, the repayment period is reduced.

Variable rates are quoted on all loans over £50k.

With each variable rate offer, Promarine Finance will also quote for a fixed rate option. Our standard no penalty for early settlement still applies on our variable rate deals and at the outset you can choose whether to change the payment or the term.

Promarine Finance is a leading provider of marine finance. To find out if you’re eligible, get a quote today.

Promarine meets its 1000th customer

Promarine Finance is delighted to announce that in December 2022 the team has made it possible for 1,000 customers to purchase a boat with the help of fast and flexible marine mortgages. In turn, Stuart Austin and the team wanted to celebrate the milestone achievement by celebrating the 1000th customer, Abigail.

Abigail, ready to leave her family home, had set her heart on living aboard a narrowboat, reminiscent of her time spent with her grandmother on her barge when she was a child. By the time she contacted Promarine Finance, she had already identified her ideal vessel, named ‘Sparklingbrook’, and the team was happy to provide her with the necessary financial support to realise her dream.

In April 2023, Asha from Promarine Finance paid Abigail a visit aboard her boat to bring her a number of celebratory gifts, including a branded Promarine sailing jacket, chocolate and champagne, and to discuss how much she had been enjoying her new life on the water. One major bonus for Abigail has been being able to admire the stars in the night sky from her mooring, which are much brighter than at her family’s home.

Stuart Austin, the Director of Promarine Finance, remarked, “We are delighted to have assisted over a thousand people in acquiring a boat and starting their unique adventures on the water. Over the past decade, we have offered our marine mortgages to all kinds of boat buyers – first-time owners, individuals seeking a permanent residence wanting to liveaboard, experienced boaters , and many more. It’s always wonderful to be a part of someone’s boat-buying journey, and we take great pleasure in seeing our satisfied customers take delight in their newly-purchased vessel.”

If you’d like to explore how Promarine Finance can help you fulfil your boating aspirations with a marine finance loan, get a quote today.

Abigail is the founder of Jabbs Caterers, which provides a wide array of hot and cold buffets, and sit-down meals, for a variety of special occasions around Rugby.

Promarine Finance to attend Crick Boat Show 2023

The Promarine Finance team is thrilled to announce its attendance at this year’s Crick Boat Show, taking place from 27-29 May 2023 at Crick Marina, Northampton. 

Britain’s largest inland waterways festival is set to return with a bang, featuring a number of exciting exhibitors, seminars and boat handling sessions, and entertainment for everyone.

For three days, the exhibition transforms into Britain’s largest chandlery as over 260 exhibitors bring together the full range of inland boating supplies and equipment. 

If you’re visiting the show, come and speak to the Promarine Finance team, where they will be offering advice and finance for inland boats, liveaboards and ocean going boats. 

Stuart Austin, Director of Promarine Finance, says: “The team and I are excited for another year exhibiting a Crick Boat Show. It’s a great show to be attending with lots of variety going on, and a good opportunity to meet with new and familiar faces. 

“We’re passionate about helping more people get out on the water with our marine finance services and connecting them with the boat of their dreams in the most affordable way.”

Whether a previous boat owner, a current boat owner, or a novice, we’re here to help. Come and say hello! 

Promarine Finance is a leading provider of marine finance. To find out if you’re eligible, get a quote today.