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Spirit of Discovery blog

Isle of Wight

22nd July, 2023

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.

Kind Regards
Captain Darin Bowland, MSc

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.