OSTAR – Competitors

10th May 2020

OSTAR 2020 Competitors

Peter Bourke
Peter Bourke
Rubicon (115) – Outbound 44, Mono
Hull: Monohull 44ft
Class: Outbound 44
Sail No: 115
Designer: Carl Schumacher
LOA: 44.9ft
LWL: 40.3ft
Beam: 13.3ft
Draught: 6.2ft
Mervyn Wheatley
Mervyn Wheatley
Arethusa - Bowman 40, Mono
Hull: Monohull 40ft
Class: Bowman 40
Sail No: GBR6049T
Designer: Chuck Paine
LOA: 40ft
LWL: 32ft
Beam: 12ft
Draught: 5ft

Krystian Szypka

Hull: Monohull
Class: Delphia 46DS
Sail No: POL9590
Designer: Skrzat
LOA: 46.2ft
LWL: 44.3ft
Beam: 14.6ft
Draught: 6.6ft

Richard Lett

Velocity Girl
Hull: Monohull
Class: VQ32
Sail No: -
Designer: Dick Koopmans
LOA: 32ft
LWL: -
Beam: -
Draught: -

Ertan Beskardes

Lazy Otter
Hull: Monohull
Class: Rustler 36
Sail No: 94
Designer: Holman & Pye
LOA: 35.3ft
LWL: 26.9ft
Beam: - 11ft
Draught: -

Tom Amory

Hull: Monohull
Class: J120
Sail No: - 51255
Designer: Johnstone
LOA: 40ft
LWL: 35ft
Beam: 12ft
Draught: 7ft

Markus Moser

Hull: Monohull
Class: Luffe 45
Sail No: - SUI 4505
Designer: Oluf Jorgensen
LOA: 44.9ft
LWL: 40.4ft
Beam: 12.6ft
Draught: 7.4ft

Kass Schmitt

Hull: Monohull
Class: Humphreys
Sail No: - GBR536
Designer: Rob Humphreys
LOA: 36.5ft
LWL: 31.3ft
Beam: 11.7ft
Draught: 7ft

Competitor No 9 - details to follow

Jacek Chabowski

Blue Horizon
Hull: Monohull
Class: Delphia
Sail No: - POL10664
Designer: A Skrzat
LOA: 47.5ft
LWL: 46.1ft
Beam: 14.7ft

Neil Payter
Hull: Monohull
Class: Lucas 40
Sail No: - 19
Designer:Francois Lucas
LOA: 40ft
Beam: 14.7ft

Peter Crowther
Hull: Monohull
Class: Swan 38
Sail No: - 8758T
Designer: S&S
LOA: 38.25ft
LWL: 28.7ft
Beam: 11.5ft


Competitors intro text here…

Peter Bourke

Peter Bourke  –  Rubicon

Peter:  I was born in the town of Brentwood, County of Essex, near London, though my family moved to the United States shortly after my sixth birthday, and I grew up in the suburbs of New York City.

After graduating from High School in 1968, I enlisted in the US Marine Corps where I spent three of the longest, if most memorable, years of my life. Following that chapter, I attended the State University of New York (SUNY) where I majored in economics, and that led to a career in the investment business.

I’ve been an armchair sailor for most of my life, but I didn’t take up the real thing until my late forties. After retirement I bought Rubicon, an Outbound 44 and one of Carl Schumacher’s last designs. I’ve covered a lot of lot of miles sailing Rubicon in local waters, and also been lucky enough to take her to the Caribbean on a few occasions for some extended cruising. I’ve done very little racing on Rubicon, the highpoint being a win in the double-handed leg of the Bermuda 1-2 race in 2007 – a victory I attribute mainly to my co-skipper on that race. I was the last official finisher of the 2009 OSTAR. While it was a disappointing finish, it did give me enough material to complete the memoir I’d been working on. ‘Sea Trials, A Lone Sailor’s Race Toward Home’, was published in 2014 by McGraw Hill. I don’t expect another book to come out of my 2020 effort, but I am hoping for some improvement over my previous record.


Rubicon:  Rubicon is an Outbound 44, designed by Carl Schumacher and commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia in October 2004. She’s hull # 15 and an aft cockpit sloop. I’ve owned the boat since she was new and logged about 31,000 nm. Her home port is Newport, Rhode Island.

Mervyn Wheatley

Mervyn Wheatley  –  Arethusa of Yealm


Mervyn is a former Royal Marines officer and will be aged 76 for the OSTAR. He has sailed 245,000nm and has completed 19 Atlantic crossings, including five OSTARs. He has also competed in five RB&Is and seven solo AZABs. He was a skipper on the first Clipper RTW Race in 1996 and also for some legs of the 05/06 Race. He was knocked down in Tamarind on the last OSTAR and rescued by the Queen Mary 2. Shortly after his return, he bought Arethusa of Yealm, a Bowman 40, and has already sailed her to the Azores and back singlehanded. He has entered AZAB 19.

He is married with two adult children and lives in Newton Ferrers, Devon



details to come

Krystian Szypka

Krystian Szypka  –  Hallelujah

Krystian:  (born 1972, Polish) – finisher of OSTAR2013 (3rd in Jester), experienced single-handed sailor, yacht master and sailing instructor (sea safety and navigation expert). Organizer of Battle of Gotland single-handed race – one of most difficult regattas on Baltic Sea and co-founder of project Ocean Team supporting many challenging Polish ocean projects. Besides sailing: helicopter pilot, scuba diver, father of 2 sons and husband of fantastic woman. Occupation: manager in automotive industry.

Some details about off-shore races:

2010, 2011, 2012 – Singlehanded races Polonez Cup – 200nm nonstop on western Baltic Sea – best result: 3rd in Open Class

2012, 2013, 2014 – Singlehanded races Battle of Gotland – 500nm nonstop on east-central Baltic Sea – twice 1st, once 2nd position (and still owner of time record for boats below 60ft)

2013 – OSTAR – 3rd in Jester Class

Over 30.000nm sailed off-shore including about 9.000nm on solitaire

Hallelujah: type: DELPHIA 46DS, designed and built in Poland (2011) by Delphia Yachts (designer Andrzej Skrzat). Ocean going cruiser with LOA of 14meters and 120sqm of basic sails. Class A. GPR hull and aluminum mast, sloop rigging with furlers and independent storm sails. Central cockpit and deck saloon give a lot of comfort and safety. Boat well equipped for shorthanded navigation as well as for solo sailors. Full safety equipment. Even not designed for races quite quick especially for long distance passages both upwind and downwind (with additional 150sqm asymmetric spinnaker).

For ocean passage the boat is equipped with: diesel power generator, wind power generator, desalinator, heating system, satellite communication and doubled navigation system,

For singlehanded race: doubled autopilot, radar, active radar reflector and other gadgets including aggressive alarm clock to be sure that the short sleeping will be controlled.

Of course, such things like SOLAS life raft, grab-bags, EPIRB, PLB, AIS-SART and other safety staff is on board. Boat meets all WS OSR demands for category Mo1.

Richard Lett

Richard Lett  –  Velocity Girl


details to come

Velocity Girl 

details to come

Ertan Beskardes
Lazy Otter

Ertan Beskardes  –  Lazy Otter

Ertan. Having sailed most of my life as a solo sailor, I have started sailing full time in 2017, during which I have ended up in Southern Spain where I still sail. I did managed to make the start of the Golden Globe Race from Sardinia being the last entrant, but as it appears I was not ready for the race. I am now entrant for 2022 GGR.

Lazy Otter. Lazy Otter is a Rustler 36, purchased in December 2017 for the Golden Globe Race.

Tom Amory

Tom Amory – Flow


Tom: First Capsize- the first time I stepped into an 8’ sailing dinghy my father had built for me at age 10. I burst into tears and ran for the woods.

First Search and Rescue was conducted for me: South Freeport age 14 when I went missing while trying to capture a seal pup with a friend on some ledges outside of the harbor during a thunderstorm. We made for an island to find shelter and were found eating brownies while the town of South Freeport searched for us.

First Fire onboard: 22 years old while trying to cook breakfast on an alcohol stove on a 30’ sloop off Monhegan.

First Time Overdue: 22 years old on a maiden voyage of a 42’ long liner out of Portland Maine in January. We had our radio off because the captain was embarrassed at how poorly we were fishing.

First Sinking: 26 years old when I sank a 50’ wooden scow with a crane in the Royal River while tied to a wharf because I went away for the weekend without asking anyone to check the bilge pumps.

First Man Overboard: 49 years old on a 50’ sloop on passage to the Azores when I was trying to adjust the lead to the jib by standing on the loaded sheet. A puff came and I was lifted over the lifeline and I found myself hanging on to the sheet with my legs in the water 1000 miles offshore.

First Major Grounding: I put my J/35 on the rocks for eight hours while trying to beat through the Little Thoroughfare by North Haven. Pure ego. Age 50.

Worst spousal abuse while sailing; age 58. I arrived after a 3,000 miles passage from the Canaries to Antigua and did not call my wife first. The fact that I was sailing double handed with a woman half her age may also have been a contributing factor.

These are only the firsts!

Flow. Flow is a 1999 J/120 that I purchased late in 2018. She has been going through a major refit since then in Maine where I live. She will have some fancy sails from the Doyle loft in Salem Massachusetts, new B&G electronics, new rod rigging, and a new Awlgrip job on her topsides. The new code zero is on a furler and requires a bobstay for the sprit. There is also another furler for the J4 and storm jib that requires a halyard lock around the second spreaders. All this requires an old dog to learn some new tricks. I hope to get the boat into the water by May 1, do my qualifier for the OSTAR with the Bermuda 1-2 in June, sail the boat to Plymouth in August via the Azores, and get ready for the race back.

Markus Moser

Markus Moser – Lifgun

Markus. I was born in 1966 and grew up in landlocked Switzerland. I live in Zurich and work as an architect. My father owned a boatyard: thus I spent my weekends sailing on Lake Zurich rather than hiking in the Swiss Alps.

What followed was a classic sailing career: at the age of five Optimist, at 12 Europe Dinghy, and at 16 Finn Dinghy.

Sailing has always been an expensive sport. When I was 14 I worked as a sailing teacher and accompanied sailing trips as a deck hand. I spent my summer holidays in Danish coastal waters, regularly taking part in races.

Boats at that time were larger (Matcher 31 and similar), with a Luffe 4004 finally being ordered and built in 2008. There then followed four years’ intensive sailing in Baltic waters. In 2011 the decision was taken to move over to a Luffe 45 which was then delivered the following year.  What a different world that introduced: many ever longer sailing trips would follow!

Oslo – Inverness – Oban – Stromness – Copenhagen – Gulf of Bothnia – Stavanger etc.

In 2017 and 2018 solo sail around Africa: Valencia – Cape Verde – Cape Town – Richards Bay – Suez – Didim (Turkey).

Lifgun, a Luffe 45, now has enough experience to take part in an Ostar race. It has mastered many difficult situations, and is ready for what the North Atlantic has to throw at it – as is its skipper.

Lifgun. Lifgun is a Luffe 45 designed by Oluf Jørgensen and built in his small boat manufacture in Kolding, Denmark. She is hull number 5 and finished in spring 2012. She is built out of Epoxy (Hull and Deck). Carbonfibre mast, Carbonfibre boom. 9/10 rigg with 2 spreaders, standing on keel. Rigging ECsix carbon. I sail Lifgun since she was new and logged until now 35’000 nm. Right now, she’s berthed in Turkey but she saw a lot of places in the world already. Lifgun is sailing under Swiss flag. By the way – Lifgun has nothing to do with guns – it comes from Iceland and the meaning is (re)activate a hidden place….(Endurlífgun).

Kass 1
Kass 3

Kass Schmitt – Zest

Competitor No 9 – details to follow

Blue Horizon

Jacek Chabowski – Blue Horizon

Jacek: Born in 1970 in Gdansk, Poland. Under sail since 1982. Some racing successes – Polish Sea Sailing Champion 2015. Winner of the South Baltic Cup in 2014. Winner of the Polish Sea Sailing Cup 2014. Three times winner of the L.Teliga Solitary Regatta Award. Repeated participant of the most difficult solo regatta in the Baltic Sea – Battle of Gotland. Skipper Polled Sailing Team. Many other racing successes achieved with the Polled Sailing Team. Surrounded areas: Baltic Sea, North Sea, Bay of Biscay (4 times, including once alone), Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic, Saronic Bay.
Owner of a sailing school and yacht service – Sailing Factory (sailingfactory.pl).
Total sailing experience about 40.000 NM.
Father of Maciej and Kinga, husband of wonderful woman, Alinka.

Blue Horizon:
Type: Delphia 47 (sloop)
Year of construction: 2010
Length 47 feet, yacht of the ocean class (A).
Designed by Andrzej Skrzat, produced in the Polish yacht shipyard Delphia.
The yacht is well equipped and adapted for solo sailing, including oceanic sailing.