by Emily Caruso
Colin De Mowbray Red Socks Regatta.
Colin De Mowbray
October 2nd 2010 will bring a sea of red socks to the Solent, as a regatta of yachts sail from Lymington in memory of a sailing legend.
Lieutenant-Commander Colin De Mowbray was born in 1945 and in keeping with his noble ancestry, went on to fulfil an illustrious career. His service in the Royal Navy spanned over thirty years, including being appointed second in command of HMS Alacrity during the Falklands conflict and culminating in an MBE, which he was awarded for his final tour.
Having left the Navy in 1994, Colin went on to further pursue his love of sailing and established an esteemed reputation as an offshore yachtsman. His lifelong friendship with Sir Robin Knox Johnston and his exemplary seamanship led to him skippering the yacht ‘Chrysolite’ in the inaugural Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1996. From there, Colin began his career of fourteen years with Clipper Ventures, as Race Director and then overall Operations Director.
Since Colin’s race in 1996, Clipper Ventures have completed a further seven circumnavigations, taking ordinary people and training them to become offshore sailors. He built relationships worldwide, from port to port, charming people from all walks of life with his naturally mischievous and selfless nature. Such was Colin’s way that numerous ‘de Mowbray’ traditions are practiced still, such as his seemingly impossible parades of sail in perfect echelon formation.
Upon his retirement in 2009 Colin went on to found and become the Commodore of the Clipper Race Yacht Club, an association of Clipper alumni from all the previous races. His vision was to create a vehicle through which those inspired by their involvement with Clipper could continue to share their experiences both on and off the water. The launch of the club took place in St Katherine’s Dock in April 2009 and was attended by many, including the club President Sir Robin Knox Johnston and Vice President Sir Keith Mills. Since its launch, the club has accrued in excess of five hundred members.
Sadly, Colin de Mowbray passed away suddenly on 11th July leaving a tangible hole to those who knew him. His obituary featured in both the Times and the Telegraph, such was his eminence. Colin’s character will live on through the memories of all who knew him, but in true de Mowbray fashion it would be lapse not to create a good old fashion knees up in his honour. His love of red socks and his ability to bring people together inspired The Clipper Race Yacht Club to create an event with the view to truly fortifying the memory of a legend.
On the October 2nd, led by the de Mowbray family yacht ‘Figit’, eight boats from Lymington Yacht Charters will set off through the Solent with prominent red socks flying from the backstays. The weekend will comprise of various races and fun, including dinner and celebrations at The Folly Inn on the Saturday night. For many, this will provide a fitting way to honour a man that truly made his mark on ocean yacht racing and on the world as whole.