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A Devon-based yachtsman who took 88 days to cross the Atlantic in a single-handed race — arriving 68 days behind the winner — is to sail the boat he used in the competition for the first time in 45 years.

Peter Crowther still holds the record for the slowest-ever crossing in the Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) set in 1972 when he left Plymouth for Rhode Island USA on the historic gaff-cutter ‘Golden Vanity.’
This May the 74-year-old pub landlord will set sail on his 10th and last OSTAR, this time on a more modern Swan 38. Two weeks before the event he will be taking his family out for a nostalgic voyage along the south Devon coast on the boat he used for the original crossing.

conradPhoto courtesy Lloyd Images

"The Island Trust are delighted to announce that Round the World yachtsman Conrad Humphreys has joined our Board of Trustees. Conrad brings both professional sailing expertise and business acumen to the Trust as well as his high media profile.

Born in Exmouth, Devon, Conrad has competed in three round the world races, becoming only the 5th British sailor to complete the Vendée Globe. The Vendée Globe is regarded as the pinnacle of ocean racing and an event that is widely regarded as the toughest endurance race in any sport.

Conrad’s professional career in sailing began at 17 years old, when he was spotted at the Junior World Cadet Championships and was asked to join the Youth Challenge campaign for the 1993–94 Whitbread Round the World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race). The change in direction thrust him into the world of extreme ocean racing. His first leadership challenge was as Skipper of LG FLATRON in the gruelling BT Global Challenge 2000-01. He and his team went on to dominate the race – setting a record pace and winning four out of seven legs. At just 26 years of age, Conrad became the youngest winning skipper in the history of the race.

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The International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians (IYFR) Disability Trophy was awarded to the [ASTO Member] Gwennili Trust on Friday 23 September at the Southampton Boat Show.

Presented for the very first time in the UK, the award recognises and promotes the inclusion of disabled sailors in two of the world’s largest yacht races, the Barcolona in Trieste, Italy and the Round the Island Race in Cowes.

The trophy was presented by Tullio Giraldi, Commodore of the High Adriatic Fleet, in the RYA Members’ Lounge at Southampton Boat Show. Tullio started the presentation by explaining the history behind the award: “The two yacht races believed to have the largest entry worldwide are the Round the Island Race organised by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes (GBR) and the Barcolana Race in Trieste (ITA).

“Five years ago, the Fleet of Alto Adriatico of the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians (IYFR) presented a trophy to the Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano, the club organising Barcolana in Trieste, to be awarded to the first yacht classified with at least one disabled sailor on board. Rotarian boat owners are encouraged to increase the number of boats with disabled sailors entering the race.

“We have today presented a similar IYFR trophy to the Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, Mark Wynter, which will be awarded at the Round the Island Race in Cowes, and we were delighted to award the 2016 Commemorative Plate to the Gwennili Trust.”

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The annual ASTO Cowes Small Ships race saw its 13th start off Cowes on Saturday. This is a race for Sail Training vessels, with 5 different classes, and boats made from wood, steel, glass fibre and concrete and rigs including Bermudan, ketch, cutter - and even a catamaran.
The race start, off the Royal Yacht Squadron, was delayed by the passage of some large commercial traffic, by which time the wind, nonexistent during the parade past the Squadron platform, and some monsoon-like rain storms, had changed for sunshine and a light breeze.
This breeze varied in strength and had almost eased off by the time the fleet had reached the Eastern Solent but then strengthened as they passed through the forts off Portsmouth. It stayed strong for the beat back up to Cowes with some very exciting sailing especially in Osborne Bay. At one point a squall strong enough to make the surface of the sea turn white pushed through some of the competitors.
After the race ASTO Chairman James Stevens said: “it is a tribute to the Captains and crews of these vessels that during weather that included gale-force gusts they kept their trainees safe”
Winner in class B and overall was Hamble-based Jolie Brise, operated by Dauntsey’s School in Devon. Yoda – from the Portsmouth Sail Training Trust was first in class C2 and Scaramouche, crewed by youngsters from the Greig City Academy in Tottenham, London, came first in class D.
And because this race is as much about taking part as the actual racing, the Richard Langhorn trophy – awarded on votes from the rest of the fleet for the vessel that best represents the spirit of the race – went to the Sea Cadet yacht T.S. Vigilant, who also came first in Class C1: in a mammoth baking session they titled the Great British Sail Off and using the small oven onboard their vessel, they somehow managed to create over 300 cupcakes to give to all the other crews.

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Full race results are listed here:

Lots more pictures are online on Facebook.

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Almost 180 young people from all over the UK were welcomed to Gosport at the end of the ASTO Dartmouth to Gosport Small Ships Race which took place between Monday 22 and Wednesday 24 August.

The 21 teams taking part paraded through Gosport after being welcomed to the coastal town by Gosport Mayor Cllr Lynn Hook, who told the crews it was a “huge achievement” to sail overnight from Dartmouth to Gosport. She said Gosport was “incredibly proud” to host all the young crews who include a group of young carers from Devon funded by the Royal Dart Yacht Club and a team of blind and visually impaired youngsters from the MACS charity.

General Manager of ASTO, Lucy Gross, said: “I am really pleased that the Dartmouth to Gosport race has been such a success. Young people from a wide variety of backgrounds sailing together in such a diverse fleet shows that taking part in adventurous Sail Training is for everyone.”

ASTO Chairman James Stevens: "An offshore sailing race is a huge achievement for these young people, many of whom had never sailed before they joined the yachts in Dartmouth. You could see the mixture of relief and exuberance as the celebrated in Gosport. I am sure they will all remember this experience for the rest of their lives."

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