In 1972 I was Sailing on “Charisma” a 56 foot S&S. A wonderful powerful boat. A Hurricane (Agnes) crossed the course to Bermuda. We had 70 knots over the deck at the finish.
The Transatlantic race to Spain started in Bermuda and was in stark contrast as the course crossed two high pressure zones. The boat that won sailed the isobars. I had argued the point to no avail aboard “Charisma” as it meant sailing at right angles to the course. Less than 24 hours after finishing we set out for Sardinia; for what would be the first Mediterranean Championship; winning every race with Bill Ficker steering.
A few days ago there was a reunion of sorts. a number of the crew of the “glory days” of Charisma the S&S 56 belonging to Jesse Phillips turned up in Newport. I keep fond memories of our days sailing. It all seemed so easy, we all had confidence in one another . In the photo on the left taken during the Bermuda race, a hurricane crossed the course, we had
70 knots over the deck at one point. It was also the moment I decided that I could make a better safety harness.(it’s me in the photo)
the photo taken from the masthead of Charisma during the trans-atlantic race to Spain. A long slow race.
From there we took off to get to Sardinia in time for the first Mediterranean championships, Bill Ficker came and skippered the boat, we won everything.
the bottom photo is of Peter Van dyke and John Browning sailing throught the straits of Gibraltar