Please select your home edition
Edition
A+T Instruments 2024 Leaderboard

Sir Chay Blyth returns to Hamble to celebrate 50th anniversary of pioneering solo circumnavigation

by Barry Pickthall 2 Aug 2021 14:52 UTC 6 August 2021
Sir Chay Blyth returns to the Hamble to celebrate the 50th anniversary © Jonathan Eastland / Alam

Sir Chay Blyth returns to the Hamble to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his pioneering solo non-stop west-about circumnavigation back in 1971 aboard the 59ft ketch British Steel.

When: Friday August 6th 2021. Hamble River, Southampton. UK

Event: A parade of sail will take place up the Hamble River on Friday August 6 led by Sir Chay Blyth to mark the 50th anniversary of his victorious return to the UK at the end of a pioneering 292-day solo non-stop west-about circumnavigation against the prevailing winds and currents aboard his 59ft ketch rigged yacht British Steel. The yacht was equipped with only the most basic gear - no roller furling, self-tailing winches, GPS, nor Sat/phone - and during the voyage, communication with the outside world remained spasmodic at best. When the yacht's primitive wind vane self-steering failed during a storm off Cape Horn, Chay was forced to hand steer for the remaining 20,000 miles - a remarkable achievement on its own!

On his return, Chay was given a right Royal welcome attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prime Minister Edward Heath. Thousands more lined the waterfront, and the headlines ran: BOAT OF STEEL - MAN OF IRON. The Times newspaper described the voyage as 'The most outstanding passage ever made by man alone.' It took another 23 years for anyone to challenge the record - fellow British sailor Mike Golding in the British Steel Challenge yacht Group 4 Securitas in1994. To-date only five have completed the full west-about route.

Blyth was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his achievement and went on to win the first Whitbread Round the World Race on elapsed time in 1974. He gained further successes in transatlantic and round Britain endurance races before setting up The Challenge Business to give novice sailors the opportunity of a lifetime to race around the globe on the same west-about route in a series of one-design yachts. Chay, who first came to fame with a record-setting row across the Atlantic in an open dory with John Ridgeway back in 1966 also founded what is now the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge rowing race. The great adventurer was knighted in 1997 for his services to the sport.

Parade of sail: Those with a yacht or motorboat are welcome to join the Parade of Sail, and the public will get a great view from the Hamble village waterfront, public car park and slipway, just as they did 50 years ago.

Timings

11:00 - Yachts start congregating off Calshot, with Sir Chay Blyth in the 27ft launch Lucky Me skippered by Christopher Waddington (who was one of the first to step aboard British Steel to help pull the sails down, after crossing the finish line at Hamble Spit Buoy in '71).

11:30 - Flotilla, led by the Hamble Harbour Master's 7m catamaran and Lucky Me, commence the parade of sail up-river to the Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble (where Sir Chay came ashore 50 years ago)

12:00 - Chay arrives at Royal Southern YC pontoon to be welcomed by Commodore Robert Vose, Mike Golding and other dignitaries

12:00 - 12:30 - Flotilla motor line astern past the pontoon for salute.

12:30 - 13:00 - Press conference followed by pre-organised individual media interviews.

See historic footage of Sir Chay Blyth's record setting voyage here

Related Articles

Dunkirk Little Ships Commemorative' Cruise
Chatham currently hosting 17 unique craft on public view The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships will be commemorating the 83rd anniversary of Operation Dynamo, over the weekend of 26th May to 29th May 2023 at Chatham Maritime Trust Moorings, Chatham Marina, Kent. Posted on 27 May 2023
Visit Connecticut Maritime Festival
This year's festival will feature the staple of the New London waterfront The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival returns to New London! A kick-off event will be held at the Hygienic Art Park on Friday night, September 10 from 7 - 9 p.m. featuring a free concert by the blues-rock band, The Lone Wolf Trio. Posted on 10 Sep 2021
Sir Chay Blyth returns to the Hamble
To celebrate 50th anniversary of his solo circumnavigation British yachtsman Sir Chay Blyth returned to the Hamble on Friday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his victorious return to the UK at the end of a pioneering 292-day solo non-stop west-about circumnavigation against the prevailing winds and currents Posted on 7 Aug 2021
Spirit of Adventure 'Mayflower' project
Getting disadvantaged young people sailing in Plymouth A new project hopes to give more than 350 disadvantaged children in Plymouth an exciting and unique opportunity, and a crowdfunding page has been launched to help make it a reality. Posted on 13 Feb 2020
Voyage from Norway to Ireland halted
Storm and strong tides make it impossible to get around Cape Wrath In a wonderfully brave (and beautifully mad) adventure, a young Irish chef, Darragh Carroll, set himself the task of carrying a flame of fire from the Island of Tomoya in Norway to Ireland in a 30ft traditional Norwegian sailing boat. Posted on 27 Jan 2020
Sea Women of Melanesia win 'Ocean Tribute' Award
Project to train Melanesian women for marine reef protection The presentation of the third "ocean tribute" Award was celebrated with a (ocean) roaring party on the evening of 20 January at the blue motion night in Hall 6. Posted on 22 Jan 2020
Eyesore or attraction?
The Phantom of the Aqua, as it's called, washed ashore in Miramar Beach The Phantom of the Aqua, as it's called, washed ashore in Miramar Beach in October and it's still stuck deep in the white sand and some say it's becoming quite an attraction along the beach. Posted on 28 Jan 2018
Coast Guard search for 2 fisherman
The fishing boat Enterprise was in the area rescued two of the crewmembers At approximately 6:10 pm the First Coast Guard District command center received a distress call via an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) from the 69-foot fishing vessel Misty Blue with four crewmembers aboard. Posted on 5 Dec 2017
Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - FOOTERMarine Products Direct 2023 - Calypso FOOTERCure Marine - Cure 55 - FOOTER