Off she goes, Iain Oughtred's slightly foreshortened Penny Fee, at 15ft. Sails by Jeckells, spars by the wonderful Jeremy Freeland at Collars. The rest by Messrs Burke and Morgan (that's Jonny by the way...)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

To Drown Like a Gentleman...

This was the ethos behind the old OSTAR, coined by Blondie Hasler who believed that anyone daft enough to attempt a single-handed voyage should not rely on outside help if it all turned to worms (or the nautical equivalent).

Nowadays a red button will summon a helicopter in minutes, and thank goodness too. We are not all born Cockleshell Heroes. Nevertheless the total self reliance that Hasler epitomised has an almost romantic appeal, as one yachtsman recently proved. From the Yachting Monthly website comes this inspiring story. Some might say it was sheer foolhardiness, but not me.

A Cornish sailor has returned to the UK after a 17-month circumnavigation in which he used only an atlas for navigation.

Paddy Macklin, 52, arrived back in Falmouth after a 'traditional' circumnavigation via the three capes on his 27ft wooden Buchanan sloop with no EPIRB or proper charts.

His friend, Steve Ransley, said: 'He didn't want anybody to call help for him, he wanted to do it in the true tradition of going to sea and being prepared to drown like a a gentleman.'

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