“Talking Sailing” from my archives. 1979 Fastnet Race – This Special Breed

by Richard Crockett

As the drama and sorrow of that fateful Fastnet storm in 1979 unfolded and played out in the media for many days as the death toll, triumph and tragedy was related first-hand, one man penned, in what I believe was a very courageous editorial entitled “This Special Breed”. He paid tribute to the courage and daring that drives men to sail on through killer gales… .

“If they don’t come back, he will mourn along with the relatives of those already dead. But he sees their loss, as we all should, as the price of courage.

“Since Creation mankind has competed. Some choose harder routes than most. But let no one call the adventurers foolhardy, for their strength of spirit strengthens us all.

“Fellow sailors on land spoke out in their defence yesterday, explaining the call of the sea that takes men and women into areas where lives can be held forfeit at the whim of wind and wave”.

Tough yet true word when lives had been lost – and an editorial well worth a slow read.

Yesterday I mentioned the Port Elizabeth team that competed, and completed the course. Today is the relief of Malcolm Bradford’s father after his son had phoned to tell him he was okay after their dismasting on ‘Battle Cry’.

There’s lots of reading again today as follows:

“Lost – in A Quest for More Speed”:  1979 08 16 – Vaughan Giles 1979 Fastnet – S&A – 001882 – stitched – OCR

“After the Tragedy, the Questions”:  1979 08 16 – Vaughan Giles 1979 Fastnet – S&A – 001883 – OCR

“The Heroes of 706 Squadron”:  1979 08 16 – Vaughan Giles 1979 Fastnet – S&A – 001884 – OCR

“Ted: My Worst Hours”:  1979 08 16 – Vaughan Giles 1979 Fastnet – S&A – 001885-1 – stitched – OCR

“This Special Breed”:  1979 08 16 – Vaughan Giles 1979 Fastnet – S&A – 001887

I’m Safe, Son Tells Dad From Cork”:  1979 08 16 – Vaughan Giles 1979 Fastnet – S&A – 001898 – OCR

“Death Race Safety Row”:  1979 08 16 – Vaughan Giles 1979 Fastnet – S&A – 001881 – OCR

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