1979 Fastnet Survivor
A recently published article by Yachting Monthly, titled 'The Kindness of Strangers' details one man's account of his experience throughout the harrowing events of the infamous 1979 Fastnet Race.
In his recollection of the event, Brett Dingwall describes monstrous seas, full inversions and multiply knockdowns, while fighting to survive what was to become one of the most fearsome storm systems to hit the South West coast of the UK, resulting in the largest ever maritime rescue operation in peace time.
The boat credited with keeping 6 crew, including Brett afloat, during the horrendous conditions was the 1977 Contention 33, Lipstick, a boat we’ve recently been instructed to list.
Brett describes his experience- ‘I was helming for the first capsize and we fully inverted. As we went over, it was as though the boat continued making way through the water, it didn’t seem to stop! It’s quite amazing what the boat managed to withstand.’
His bare-knuckled grip around the tiller, guided Lipstick through the mountainous waves that seemed to have no rhythm or mercy. The ricochet of the trembling was felt throughout the yacht with each blow, a deafening suspense and finally relief as she held together.
Luckily the French fishing trawler, Cap der Guy came to the rescue, removing all crew from Lipstick and taking her in tow, eventually making safe port at Dunmore East Harbour in southern Ireland
Lipstick, although beaten and battered by the ferocious conditions remained salvageable. 43 years on and following many happy days racing on the Milford Haven waterway in far more sedate conditions, the boat now sits on the hard standing at East Llanion Boat Yard awaiting a new owner to revel in the enjoyment of owning such a special survivor of the 1979 Fastnet.
To view Lipstick’s listing visit- https://www.boatshed.com/contention_33-boat-316020.html
To view the full article, visit- https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/cruising-life/1979-fastnet-race-the-kindness-of-strangers-86739