OSTAR 1964

the Second STAR  – a legend is born

The second OSTAR in 1964 was the launch pad for one of the most influential figures in the history of single-handed sailing, the development of sailing as a sport in France and in offshore race boat design. In 1960 Francis Chichester had managed the crossing in 40 days, then a 32 year-old French naval lieutenant Eric Tabarly won the 1964 race taking just 27 days aboard his 44ft ketch Pen Duick II.
A total of seventeen yachtsmen entered the race. All those who sailed in the first race were back again, though only Francis Chichester and Blondie Hasler were sailing the same boats. Val Howells sailed a 35 foot steel cutter, Akka, a production yacht he was delivering to America; David Lewis switched to a catamaran Rehu Moana, one of three multihulls in the race; and Jean Lacombe had moved from the 21 foot Cap Horn to his new 22 foot glass fibre sloop Golif. Mike Ellison, who failed to start in the first race, was back in a larger boat Ilala (36 ft).
Two yachts were unable to compete: Arthur Piver was unable to deliver his trimaran from the US in time and so missed his second OSTAR; Charles McLendon, an American living in London, suffered a fire on his 48’ ketch Morna – which would have been the largest boat in the race.
Two changes were introduced for the second race: the finish line was switched from New York to Newport, Rhode Island, so the competitors could avoid the marine traffic at New York; and a prize was awarded for fastest monohull on corrected time (using a handicap based on waterline length).
time (using a handicap based on waterline length).
Two event occurred that were to be repeated in future races – two collisions, one with a spectator boat and another with a whale. Val Howells (Akka) was rammed by a spectator boat after the start and had to return for repairs. Five days out while contestting for second place a few miles behind Eric Tabarly, Derer Kelsall (Folatre) struck what he presumed was a whale, damaging a rudder and daggerboard. He returned to Plymouth for repairs then restarted finishing a creditable 34 days later.
Publicity from the first OSTAR turned the second race into a media circus with a number of the 15 competitors signed up by national newspapers to provide regular progress reports by radio. The crowds at the start brought about the first collision between a spectator boat and a competitor, Val Howells, who had to return for repairs.
Tabarly, the only Frenchman in the race, was the sailor’s favourite for the race with the advantage of sailing the largest boat and the only one purpose-built for the event. He had also carried out an in-depth study of the weather and physically was very fit. On a route close to the Great Circle and without the strong storms that had characterised the first edition, he reached Newport three days before Francis Chichester.
Arriving in Newport, Rhode Island he had no prior knowledge of his win – he had not used his radio during the race – and almost as a passing comment let slip that his self-steering system had only worked for the first 8 days of the 27 days it took him to complete the course.
At a depressed time in France, Tabarly became an overnight hero and for his endeavour was presented with his country’s highest honour, the Legion d’Honneur, by President de Gaulle. France’s love affair with solo offshore racing had begun.

 

OBSERVER TROPHY SINGLEHANDED TRANSATLANTIC RACE 1964 — The Second OSTAR

Plymouth – Newport   23 May 1964 1000 BST     Started: 15   Finished: 14

Skipper

Yacht

Type

LOA

Class

H/cap

Elapsed Time

Corrected Time

O/A Place

Class Place

Corr Place

Nat

Tabarly, Eric

Pen Duick II

M

44

0.811

27 03 56

22 00 31

1

1

FRA

Chichester, Francis

Gipsy Moth III

M

40

0.758

29 23 57

22 18 00

2

2

GBR

Howells, Val

Akka

M

35

0.742

32 18 08

24 07 13

3

3

GBR

Rose, Alec

Lively Lady

M

36

0.745

36 17 30

27 08 48

4

5

GBR

Hasler, Blondie

Jester

M

26

0.665

37 22 05

25 05 17

5

4

GBR

Howell, Bill

Stardrift

M

30

0.721

38 03 23

27 12 21

6

6

AUS

Lewis, David

Rehu Moana

C

40

38 12 04

7

GBR

Ellison, Mike

Ilala

M

36

0.736

46 06 26

34 01 43

8

9

GBR

Lacombe, Jean

Golif

M

22

0.648

46 07 05

29 23 58

9

7

FRA

Bunker, Bob

Vanda Caelea

M

25

0.662

49 18 45

32 22 48

10

8

GBR

Butterfield, Mike

Misty Miller

C

30

53 00 05

11

GBR

Chaffey, Geoffrey

Ericht 2

M

31

0.711

60 11 15

42 23 06

12

10

GBR

Kelsall, Derek

Folatre

T

35

61 14 04

13

GBR

Pedersen, Axel

Marco Polo

M

28

0.706

63 13 30

44 20 41

14

11

DEN

McCurdy, Robin

Tammie Norie

M

40

0.782

Retired

GBR

Yachts entered but did not start:  Nimble;  Morna.

 

TROPHIES

dd hh mm

Winner

Eric Tabarly

Pen Duick II

27 03 56

Record

(Previous Record

Francis Chichester

Gipsy Moth III

40 12 30

1960)

Handicap

Eric Tabarly

Pen Duick II

22 00 31

 
OSTAR Track 1964

 
OSTAR Track 1964 19Jun