By William Mills
Paris Attack Tribute
Nearly two hundred people attending Saturday’s gala prize giving dinner paid tribute to the victims of Friday’s Paris Attack.
Flags flew at half mast throughout the day at the famous Sussex yacht club with Commodore David Ramos asking those gathered to stand in silence to remember the victims of the dreadful Paris Attack.
We showed our respects for the victims of the tragic events in Paris. We have close ties with the Normandy clubs of Dieppe, Fecamp and St Valery en Caux where we have many friends. A very sad affair which we all deeply mourn.
After an excellent dinner a host of prizes were presented to the lucky winners. These included Brian Thomas, owner of Fastnet competitor, X 332 ‘Tyke’.
Also present were Carl and Helen Hancorn, the first husband and wife couple due to compete in the Clipper Around The World Race which left London’s St. Katharine Docks in August.
Conceived by Sir Robin Knox Johnson, it is now in its tenth series since its inauguration in 1996. It has enabled over 3,000 amateur sailors to take part in a race circumnavigating the globe which normally is the preserve of seasoned professionals.
The race is split into a number of legs and the crews can choose which legs, and how many they want to do facing everything from the Doldrums to Southern Ocean storms.
After leaving London the fleet of twelve 70 yachts headed down the Atlantic to their first port of call Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. From there they have taken the west about route past South Africa to Australia.
Carl and Helen are proposing to join their yacht Qingdao when the race reaches the Whitsunday Islands just after Christmas.
Located within the Great Barrier Reef some 500 miles north of Brisbane in Queensland, this favourite of southern hemisphere yachtsmen is home to some 1,500 people and attracts over 700,000 tourists a year.
Their first leg is expected to last about four weeks and takes them to Da Nang in Vietnam. After a week ashore, their three week second leg takes them to the Chinese city of Qingdao which their boat is named after.
Located on the east coast it is one of China’s top ten cities with a population of over 5 million. Qingdao hosted the sailing events when the 2008 summer Olympics were held in Beijing.
Each yacht has on board as many as twenty crew aged between 18 and 69 years old.
We saw the finish last time around and it looked so exciting. The selection was through but it all turned out to be possible. We underwent four weeks of training beforehand.
We started sailing ten years ago and joined SYC two years ago because we wanted to take the club’s RYA approved courses in order to learn to sail properly. They are really good and well worth it.
The dinner gave way to dancing with both young and old enjoying themselves.