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Our News and Notices


North Atlantic Won - Tamarind Lost. The OSTAR 17

Central - 22 May 17 General

In the early hours of Friday 9th June, 60 knot winds and 15 metre seas were experienced by competitors, caused by a very low depression (967 mb). These extreme conditions caused damage to many boats with 3 emergency beacons (EPIRB) triggered. The Canadian coastguard in Halifax immediately reacted.

Mervyn Wheatley was down below in Tamarind when the yacht was knocked down and the mast went under water. It meant everything was thrown across the cabin and he thinks some plywood went through the porthole and in came the water. His wife Penny said that "the last 36 hours have been a nightmare, because she could have gone down with him on board. There's no way he would have survived on a life-raft in those conditions."

Mervyn was rescued from his severely damaged yacht by the Queen Mary 2 liner and is now heading to Halifax. He is not used to luxuries while afloat and admits that he has been cured of being a “bit snooty” about cruising. On the first night onboard he dined in a borrowed dinner jacket at the captain’s table.

Prior to leaving his stricken yacht he scuppered her to ensure she would sink and not be a hazard to others.

The OSTAR / TWO STAR started from Plymouth sound on Monday 29 May. At present only 9 of the 21 yachts are continuing to race. Fortunately there are no injuries despite another yacht being dismasted, a further sinking, and a number of yachts with mainsail problems.

RNSA wish Mervyn well now his race has become a cruise. No doubt he will be a dab hand at rope deck quoits and keep the blue rinse brigade enthralled with his tales of daring do.


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