Spirit of Discovery blog
Isle of Wight
This cruise, Spirit of Discovery was able to witness the Rolex Fastnet Race. We were anchored just off the starting line, north of the Isle of Wight. Founded in 1925, this biennial offshore race is considered one of the classic races and has influenced yacht design, techniques and safety equipment over the decades. This year’s course ran from Cowes on the Isle of Wight through the Needles channel, westward along the English coast, around Fastnet rock in Ireland and finished in Cherbourg, France.
Historically, the 1979 Fastnet race was wrought with disaster. Heavy weather wreaked havoc on the event with a worse than expected storm. Unfortunately, there were 19 fatalities. Amongst them was Bill Le Ferve, onboard the yacht Ariodne. Onboard Spirit of Discovery this cruise, is Ann Le Ferve, his widow. Ann took the time to reach out to me and tell me this difficult story that she and her four children endured. She explained that one of her sons, William, took it upon himself to attend a 40th anniversary meeting of the survivors of that event, which eventually lead him to compete himself, which he has done for 3 years.
I kept a good look out for him today from the bridge and we saw him sailing by on the SUI 4 777 yacht (all white yacht in the picture).
What an amazing story and day.
Captain Darin Bowland, MSc
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