1973 continued

I eluded to the breath of events for 1973, My wedding was one whose date was a established after consulting the sailing schedule. With Admiral’s Cup and the Fastnet behind me I could concentrate on my future wife. We were married in Aste, a small village in the Pyrenees mountains, which separate France from Spain.

Never has there been such a wonderful event at least as far as I am concerned. Not only was I welcomed into my wife’s family, It was the best party I ever attended. Since then I have come to know this region of France, and it has become part of me.
Although it is not near the sea, I brought the first windsurfer to France, sailing it in the lakes in the Mountains. At the time I was reviled by the fishermen, today the fishermen are gone and there is a fleet of windsurfers.

Fall 1975

Following Cowes Week aboard “Gitana VI” I raced the Fastnet with “Guia” belonging to Georgio Falk. “Guia” had been built for the previous Admiral’s Cup as “Ginko” a 44 foot Bob Miller/Ben Lexan design. A light fast boat, having scored well in 1973 and had won an inshore race in 1975. Again, a mixed crew of talented Italians and French, and again English was the language on Deck, except when faced with a crisis.

It was the ride back from Fastnet Rock, where this occurred, the Wind freshened, to 30 plus knots. We were scudding along at 15-17 knots; A spinnaker change was necessary, I opted to steer staying out of the language barrier problem. From here our fate took a turn for the worse; as I watched the competition shrink on the horizon ahead. Both spinnakers were wrapped around the headstay and required cutting away.
I returned to the United States, to sail the One Ton Worlds, in Newport, with Ted Turner on “Vamp” a Peterson design. A hard series, we faired well, however, being beaten by Lowell North in “Pied Piper” also a Peterson design, so Ted bought Lowell’s boat. which we sailed in the 1976 One Ton World’s. a story for another installment.

1974-1975 England

In the fall of 1974, We moved to the Isle of Wight, England, where I started work at Souter’s Shipyard, lofting and buildiing cold-moulded boats. The face at the right is of a by-gone era. I skippered a boat, the prototype of the Swan 41, called “Gunfleet of Hamble”, We were vying for a spot on the English Admiral’s Cup team. We practiced, the selection trials were fiercely competitive. Going into the final 200 mile race, we were tied for third with Yeoman, Robin Aisher’s boat. All we had to do was beat them and we were in. we could effectively ignore the other boats. The owner, got nervous and changed three of the crew, who had helped us get here, and listened to an “expert” weather consultant, claiming there would be light air all weekend. we left our heavy air sails ashore along with our steady crew. We did not make the cut.

I left shortly after that race to join “Weald” Frank Cummiskey’s Swan 48 for the trans-atlantic race from Newport to Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Shortly after the start, we encountered a strong low, 50 knots plus. We were just settling in to the conditions when our headstay came down. Sailing to Marblehead , a new headstay was installed and we restarted, managing to chase down a few competitors, however without hope of winning . Greeted along the way by the usual sea creatures.
After arriving in Cowes I joined “GitanaVI” a 66 foot S&S, belonging to Baron Edmond Rothschild, which had also taken part in the trans-atlantic race; for Cowes week racing.It was a culturally mixed crew ,comprised of Italians, French, and myself. In moment of crisis each would revert to their native language, English had been established as the language on deck. This led to some amusing moments. I should add that the food and clothes were without equal.