OSTAR 1976

–  bigger boats and bigger fleet – controversy and tragedy

Even before the start, the storm was brewing. Controversy exploded around the entry of Alain Colas’ gigantic monohull Club Mediterranée that measured in at 236ft (72m). Few believed that a boat this size could be sailed safely by one man without being a risk to himself and others at sea, and many saw the race as getting out of control. A total of 125 boats crossed the start line in a shadow of sadness at the death of one of the competing skippers wives. Mike McMullen, an ex-marine commando, had bought Three Cheers Cheap Baltimore Ravens Jerseys from Tom Follet and had tragically witnessed his wife accidentally electrocute herself as she helped prepare the boat just days before the start. Sadly, McMullen and Three Cheers disappeared during the race.

Five low pressure systems followed each other one after the other, relentlessly generating an average wind speed of 35 knots and a raging, chaotic, short, crossed sea for over a week. The fleet were decimated with the well-chronicled retirement of Yvon Fauconnier (ITT Oceanic previously Vendredi Treize) and the break-up of Jean-Yves Terlain’s 70ft catamaran Kriter II. Two skippers were lost at sea in the storms – Mike Flanagan and the recently bereaved Mike McMullen. Only 73 of the 125 starters finished the race within the time limit.

Eric Tabarly racing his 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI had at one stage considered turning back when his self-steering gear failed. But the 1964 winner found new strength and crossed the finish line first in dramatic circumstances. With no sight or sound of Tabarly since the start concerns had been growing for his safety but he appeared out of the fog in Newport just as the French navy were on the verge of launching a full-scale search operation.

Alain Colas’ Club Mediterranée stopped in Newfoundland for repairs to the rigging and then also had to take a penalty for accepting a tow that relegating him to 5th place overall, although he crossed the line in second.

Another amazing performance came from Canadian Mike Birch on the “tiny” 31ft trimaran, The Third Turtle. He crossed the line in third but was finally awarded second place. Multihulls had staked their claim in storm-force windward conditions – there could be little to stop them now.

 

ROYAL WESTERN / OBSERVER SINGLE-HANDED TRANSATLANTIC RACE 1976 — The Fifth OSTAR

Plymouth – Newport   05-Jun-1976 P: 12:00, GM: 12:30, J: 13:00 BST    Started: 125   Finished: 73

Skipper

Yacht

Type

LOA

Class

H/cap

Elapsed Time

Corrected Time

O/A Place

Class Place

Corr Place

Nat

Tabarly, Eric

Pen Duick VI

M

73

P

06.08.30

23 20 12

17 11 42

1

1

32

FRA

Birch, Mike

The Third Turtle

T

32

J

13.19.00

24 20 39

11 01 39

2

1

1

CAN

Jaworski, Kazimierz

Spaniel

M

38

J

14.17.00

24 23 40

10 06 40

3

2

6

POL

Grossman, Tom

Cap 33

T

53

P

08.20.30

26 08 15

17 11 45

4

2

5

USA

Colas, Alain

Club Méditerranée

M

236

P

00.00.00

26 13 36

26 13 36

5

3

60

FRA

Parisis, Jean Claude

Petrouchka

M

47

GM

13.17.30

27 00 55

13 07 25

6

1

16

FRA

Palmer, David

FT

T

35

J

14.10.00

27 07 45

12 21 45

7

3

4

GBR

Greene, Walter

Friends

T

30

J

14.15.30

27 10 37

12 19 07

8

4

3

USA

Timsit, Jacques

Arauna IV

M

38

GM

17.07.30

27 15 32

10 08 02

9

2

7

FRA

Gabbay, Alain

Objectif Sud 3

M

38

J

14.15.30

28 09 58

13 18 28

10

5

19

FRA

Stokes, Francis

Mooneshine

M

40

GM

15.06.00

28 12 46

13 06 46

11

3

15

USA

Bianchi, Carlo

Venilia

M

54

GM

11.15.30

29 00 15

17 08 45

12

4

31

ITA

Francis, Clare

Robertson’s Golly

M

37.5

J

18.14.00

29 04 22

10 14 22

13

6

9

GBR

Versluys, Gustav

Tyfoon V

M

34.5

J

19.07.30

29 21 12

10 13 42

14

7

8

BEL

de Trafford, John

Quest

T

54

GM

07.15.30

30 07 30

22 16 00

15

5

9

GBR

Anrys, Yves

Pawn of Nieuport

M

30

J

22.05.30

30 15 34

08 10 04

16

8

4

BEL

Riguidel, Eugène

Nova

T

33

J

18.16.00

30 15 34

11 23 34

16

8

2

FRA

Vaton, Gilles

Ackel France

M

38

J

14.15.30

31 03 12

16 11 42

18

10

26

FRA

Pierre, Daniel

Lorca

M

29.5

J

18.03.00

31 14 45

13 11 45

19

11

17

FRA

Dumas, Patrice

Sirtec

M

39

GM

15.15.30

31 23 09

16 07 39

20

6

25

FRA

Hornett, Guy

Old Moore’s Almanack

T

42

GM

12.15.00

32 02 06

19 11 06

21

7

7

GBR

Hales, Geoff

Wild Rival

M

34

J

27.02.30

32 13 48

05 11 18

22

12

1

GBR

Pallard, Bernard

Petit Breton

M

33.5

J

17.13.00

32 19 57

15 06 57

23

13

24

FRA

Graf, Folkmar

Dadztoy

M

38

J

18.00.00

32 20 55

14 20 55

24

14

22

GER

Raab, Ernesto

Carina

M

41

GM

14.00.30

33 01 22

19 00 52

25

9

39

ITA

Ryott, Rome

Adhara

M

33.5

J

20.20.00

33 02 59

12 06 59

26

15

13

GBR

Riboulet, Pierre

Pierre

M

38

J

14.15.30

33 03 39

18 12 09

27

16

34

FRA

Howell, Bill

Tahiti Bill

C

43

GM

14.23.30

33 05 19

18 05 49

28

8

6

AUS

Bucking, Gerd

Helene III

M

35

J

24.04.30

33 08 41

09 04 11

29

17

5

GER

Clifford, Richard

Shamaal II

M

25.5

J

25.18.00

33 12 51

07 18 51

30

18

3

GBR

Smith, Everett

Wind Quest

M

40

GM

14.18.30

34 08 44

19 14 14

31

10

42

USA

Vennemans, Burg

Pytheas

M

38

J

14.15.30

34 10 10

19 18 40

32

19

43

NED

Clifton, Nicholas

Azuloa

T

32

J

15.13.30

35 03 35

19 14 05

33

20

8

GBR

Mansell, John

Innovator of Mana

M

28

J

23.23.00

35 12 25

11 13 25

34

21

12

NZL

Howells, Philip

Fromstock Filius

M

38

J

16.11.30

35 16 07

19 04 37

35

22

40

GBR

Pallard, Bernard

Petit Breton

M

33.5

J

17.13.00

35 22 50

10 21 20

36

23

11

GBR

Pallard, Bernard

Petit Breton

M

33.5

J

17.13.00

36 01 50

14 16 50

37

24

21

BUL

Olivaux, Yves

Patriarche

M

33.5

J

17.12.30

36 05 14

18 16 44

38

25

37

FRA

Radford, Ian

Jabulisiwe

M

28

J

25.12.30

36 08 44

10 20 14

39

26

10

GBR

Wallgren, Lars

Swedlady

M

27.5

J

23.18.00

36 11 10

12 17 10

40

27

14

SWE

Austoni, Edoardo

Chica Boba

M

41

GM

17.04.30

37 06 00

20 01 30

41

11

45

ITA

Castiglioni, Ida

Eva

M

34.5

J

20.03.30

37 10 20

17 06 50

42

28

30

ITA

Labourgade, Elie

Evaloa

M

34

J

20.22.30

37 10 24

16 11 54

43

29

27

FRA

Schrodt, Klaus

Lilliam

M

29.5

J

22.20.00

37 21 25

15 01 25

44

30

23

GER

McLeod, Jock

Ron Glas

M

47

GM

19.19.00

38 17 40

18 22 40

45

12

38

GBR

Pallard, Bernard

Petit Breton

M

33.5

J

17.13.00

39 04 30

25 09 30

46

46

10

USA

Butler, Chris

Achilles Neuf

M

30

J

19.21.30

39 06 02

19 08 32

47

32

41

GBR

Guiu, Juan

Crisan

M

38

GM

15.18.30

39 08 15

23 13 45

48

13

55

ESP

Konkolski, Richard

Nike

M

22.5

J

33.21.00

39 10 49

05 13 49

49

33

2

CZE

Young, James

English Rose

M

30

J

25.15.30

39 11 29

13 19 59

50

34

20

GBR

Crowther, Peter

Galway Blazer

M

42

GM

19.07.30

39 12 57

20 05 27

51

14

46

GBR

White, David

Catapha

M

32

J

21.01.30

39 17 15

18 15 45

52

35

36

USA

Mitchell, Harry

Tuloa

M

33

J

27.21.00

41 11 59

13 14 59

53

36

18

GBR

Vidal Paz, Enrique

Castenuela

M

34

J

18.21.30

42 10 10

23 12 40

54

37

54

ESP

Pyle, David

Westward

M

30

J

22.10.30

42 10 11

19 23 41

55

38

44

GBR

Puchalski, Zbigniew

Miranda

M

38

GM

21.09.00

42 13 14

21 04 14

56

15

49

POL

Wanders, Wolfgang

Amitie

M

35

J

18.05.00

42 17 30

24 12 30

57

39

57

GER

Jukkema, Henk

Hesperia

M

29.5

J

20.13.30

42 21 18

22 07 48

58

40

53

NED

Bourgeois, Max

Achille

M

33

J

21.04.00

43 08 41

22 04 41

59

41

52

FRA

di Majo, Corrado

Tikka III

M

37

J

16.21.30

44 00 37

27 03 07

60

42

61

ITA

Sutcliffe, David

Lady Anne of St Donats

M

25.5

J

26.14.00

44 03 47

17 13 47

61

43

33

GBR

Preden, Angelo

Caipirinha

M

30

J

20.13.30

44 04 45

23 15 15

62

44

56

ITA

Woods, Stuart

Golden Harp

M

30

J

19.01.30

44 19 14

25 17 44

63

45

59

IRL

Wills, Martin

Casper

M

31

J

27.20.00

44 21 05

17 01 05

64

46

29

GBR

Elliott, Richard

Lauric

M

34

J

24.15.00

45 02 29

20 11 29

65

47

47

GBR

Pottle, Henri

Janina

M

25

J

28.13.00

45 03 12

16 14 12

66

48

28

GBR

Bourgeois, Michel

Dragon

M

37.5

GM

15.23.00

45 12 45

29 13 45

67

16

62

FRA

Cowper, David

Airedale

M

29.5

J

27.21.00

46 11 17

18 14 17

68

49

35

GBR

Lang, Nigel

Galadriel of Lothlorien

M

25.5

J

26.14.00

48 03 10

21 13 10

69

50

50

GBR

Kendall, Rodney

Songeur

M

24

J

28.04.00

49 05 40

21 01 40

70

51

48

NZL

Dijkstra, Gérard

Bestevaer

M

54

GM

09.08.30

49 07 22

39 22 52

71

17

63

NED

Kasemier, Eilco

Bylgia

M

40

GM

24.07.00

49 10 34

25 03 34

72

18

58

NED

Lengyel, Bob

Prodigal

M

25

J

27.17.30

49 19 30

22 02 00

73

52

51

USA

White, Rod

Bluff

M

26

J

Over time limit

GBR

Evans, Peter

Meinwen

M

32

J

Over time limit

GBR

Ropert, Jean

Bigouden Brise

M

27.5

J

Over time limit

FRA

Sloan, Dr F.

Ballyclaire

M

33.5

J

Over time limit

GBR

Lush, Anthony

One Hand Clapping

M

28

J

Disqualified, over time

USA

Flanagan, Mike

Galloping Gael

M

38

J

Skipper lost overboard

USA

Bullimore, Tony

Toria

T

42

GM

Fire, abandoned, crew safe

GBR

Terlain, Jean-Yves

Kriter III

C

70

P

Boat broke up and sank, crew safe

FRA

Fehlman, Pierre

Gauloise

M

57

GM

Sank in storm, crew saved

SUI

Berthier, Dominique

St Milcent

M

37

J

Sank after collision, rescued next day

FRA

Szekely, P.

Nyarlathotep

M

42

GM

Structural failure, abandoned, safe

FRA

McMullen, Mike

Three Cheers

T

46

GM

Skipper and yacht lost

GBR

Roemers, Kees

Bollemaat

M

45

GM

Unable charge batteries

NED

Krieger, Heiko

Tinie II

M

36

J

Retired to Azores

GER

Ogle, John

Jade

M

51

GM

Electrical Problems, retired Corunna

GBR

Brazier, Jock

Flying Angel

M

63

GM

Self Steering and electrical problems

GBR

Schulte, Hans

Silke

M

25

J

Steering gear, mast and hull damage

GER

Richey, Mike

Jester

M

26

J

Retired in favour of Irish Cruise

GBR

Howells, Val

Unibras Brython

M

38

J

Skipper injured in fall, retired Ireland

GBR

Fogar, Ambrogio

Spirit of Surprise

C

25

J

Structural failure, retired Azores

ITA

Fauconnier, Yvon

ITT Oceanic

M

128

P

Skipper injured, sail damage – St Johns

FRA

de Jong, Andre

Aquarius

M

28

J

Self Steering failure, retired Guernsey

NED

Christian, John

Ek Soeki

M

27

J

Paraffin stove fire, returned Plymouth

GBR

le Merrer, Christian

Acteia II

M

36

J

Collision

FRA

Guzzetti, Edoardo

Namar V

M

45

GM

Steering gear failure, retired Brest

ITA

Sciarretta, Paolo

Valitalia

M

42

GM

Retired to Horta

ITA

Charbonnier, Pierre Yves

Karate

M

33

J

Injured arm, retired Fowey

FRA

Kane, Michael

Spirit of America

T

62

P

Hull Damage, retired Plymouth

USA

Smith, Chris

Tumult

M

23

J

Sick, retired Azores

GBR

Price, Hywell

Mc Arthur

M

35

J

Rudder failure

GBR

Frigout, Gérard

Pen Ar Bed

M

40

GM

Self steering damage

FRA

Malingri, Doi

CS & RB II

M

60

GM

Collision

ITA

Linski, Marc

Objectif Sud 1

M

38

J

Self steering damage, leak, ret’d Azores

FRA

Primrose, Angus

Demon Demo

M

33

J

Dismasted in capsize, jury rig Plymouth

GBR

Ward, Chris

Altergo

T

39

GM

Broken Rudder

GBR

O’Donovan, Patrick

Silmaril

T

31

J

Dismasted, towed US

IRL

Best, Mike

Croda Way

T

35

GM

Damaged float, returned Plymouth

GBR

Cornou, Guy

Kervilor

M

34

J

Skipper slipped disc, rescued

FRA

Montesinos, Jean Claude

Keep Cap D’Agde

M

53

GM

Hit drifting buoy

FRA

Mascheroni, Paolo

Panda 31

M

32

J

Retired cause unknown

ITA

Richardson, Mike

Arctic Skua

M

31

J

Self steering damage

GBR

Bray, Andrew

Gillygaloo

M

32

J

Self steering damaged by whale

GBR

Drummond, Colin

Sleuth Hound

M

32

J

Knocked overboard Force 11, injured

GBR

Charpentier, Joel

Wild Rocket

M

63

P

Sails and rigging damage in storm

FRA

Marchard, Aline

Logo

M

38

J

Dismasted, jury rig Azores

FRA

Brunet, Guy

Ironiguy

M

32

J

Steering gear failure

FRA

Virden, Jonathan

Sharavoge

M

25

J

retired to Bermuda. No wind

GBR

le Moing, C.H

Pronuptia

M

43

GM

Azores for repairs, no wind

FRA

Marcel, Alain

Drakkar III

M

39

GM

Self steering failure

FRA

Debra, Oscar

Vanessa

M

43

GM

Sails and self steering damaged in storm

BEL

Hunter, Simon

Kylie

M

26

J

Calms and head winds, ret’d Azores

GBR

Start, Brian

True North

M

36

J

Retired to Halifax

CAN

 

Penalties and Allowances

Club Méditerranée

+ 58h (10%)

Assistance

Robertson’s Golly

+ 2h 30m

Penalty for late arrival in Plymouth

Tahiti Bill

+ 24h

Penalty for late arrival in Plymouth

Eva

+ 2h

Penalty for late arrival in Plymouth

 

TROPHIES

dd hh mm

Winner

Eric Tabarly

Pen Duick VI

23 20 12

(Current Record

Alain Colas

Pen Duick IV

20 13 15

1972)

Handicap multi

Mike Birch

The Third Turtle

11 01 39

Handicap mono

Geoff Hales

Wild Rival

05 11 18

 
OSTAR Track 1976

 
OSTAR Track 1976 29Jun