Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Chay Blyth 40th anniversary

by Barry Pickthall on 12 Aug 2011
The 59ft ketch ’British Steel’ Chay Blyth Archive/PPL
Tomorrow (Friday 12th August) marks the 40th anniversary of Chay Blyth's return to Southampton after completing the first Solo non-stop West-about circumnavigation. Battling against the prevailing winds and currents aboard the 59ft ketch 'British Steel', Blyth completed the remarkable 27,000 mile circumnavigation in 292 days.


He arrived back to a hero's welcome on the last Friday of Cowes Week, to be met on the dockside at the Royal Southern YC on the Hamble by Prince Philip, Princess Anne and Prime Minister Edward Heath.

Chay, who was knighted in 1997 for services to the sport, later organised a series of Global Challenge adventures, starting with the British Steel Challenge in 1992, to give amateurs the opportunity to sail round the world in a series of identical steel yachts. More than 1,000 took up his challenge.

Blyth, who was in Cowes yesterday (Wednesday) recalled: 'I would have finished back three days earlier than the 292 it took me to complete the voyage, had I not been asked to slow down to time my return with the end of Cowes Week.'

The feat equalled what Robin Knox-Johnston had achieved two years earlier when he won the Sunday Times Golden Globe Trophy by becoming the first to sail solo non-stop around the world in an Easterly route - with the wind and currents.

Blyth, a former Paratroop Sergeant lost his wind vane self steering system off Cape Horn, but undeterred, completed the remaining 20,000 miles steering by hand.

During the voyage he also encountered a Russian trawler on a collision course late one night. Unable to get a response from flashing his Aldis lamp at the bridge, Blyth threw an explosive charge high in the air. The bang and blinding flash not only woke the man on watch but brought the entire crew on deck. Once radio contact had been made, The Russian Captain asked Blyth:

'Where did you leave from?

'Southampton'

'Where are you bound for?

'Southampton'

'What was your last port of call?

'Southampton'

'How many crew have you onboard?'

'None.'

The fishermen than had their worst fears confirmed when Blyth told them that he previously rowed across the Atlantic!

To view the Chay Blyth archive click here.

These, and thousands, more can be viewed on-line at:

PPL's Watersport and SubAqua library website.
Pictures of Yesteryear library website.










InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Azzurra concludes with a win
Azzurra closes PPSW, the third event in the series with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come Azzurra closes the PPSW in Mallorca, the third event in the series, with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come. Quantum is the Series’ current leader, followed by Azzurra.
Posted today at 7:30 pm
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing takes the prize
Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma, winning 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec completed a notable comeback after a disappointing ninth at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted today at 7:16 pm
Oman Air faces some infamous challenges at Extreme Sailing Series
All teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty All seven teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty in achieving any sort of consistency in a very shifty and unstable breeze that topped out at a bracing 14 knots when all the GC32s catamarans took off on their foils and flew around the race course.
Posted today at 6:40 pm
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted today at 4:28 pm
Vendée Globe – Sébastien Destremau – Simplicity as a credo + Video
A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet. His credo is to keep it simple, inexpensive and effective. Interview with the skipper of faceOcean, winner of the Calero Solo Transat back in the spring.
Posted today at 4:05 pm
The Vendée Globe – 100 days and counting
With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst ‘just’ twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we’re set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
Posted today at 3:46 pm
Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am