By Jill Southwood
He completed his first OSTAR in 1972, 41 years ago!
He left his famous pub, The Green Dragon, Stoke Fleming, in the capable hands of his somewhat feisty wife, Alix. He sailed from Dartmouth, his home port, for the start in Plymouth with a string of admonishments ringing in his ears!
Always welcoming to his customers and friends he would now not speak to anyone at all for one month. It would give Peter and his friends a break from each other! However, they would avidly follow him on the OSTAR website.
His start was problematic with the jib appearing to jam – it was the worst most excruciating time ever for Peter. It could have scuppered his whole race. Miraculously it did not and he was away into a stiff SW breeze. He headed off round the Eddystone Lighthouse and went pretty much straight down the Rhumb line for Newport, Rhode Island.
He was to cover some 3,460 miles, averaging approximately 110 miles per day at about 4.5knots, with a maximum of 7knots.
His food rations lasted well. They were mainly vacuum packed, comprising of salami, lamb, gammon and even smoked salmon. He had plenty of onions, fruit and vegetables to keep him fit!
He lit his oil lamp every evening and created a warm and snug saloon for dinner. The extra weight of some 100 bottles of wine for his brother-in-law’s return trip, with one or two for himself, did not seem to affect the performance of Suomi Kudu!
He experienced strong winds but no gales which was just as well since the trisail was keeping the wine tucked up safely! The instruments were kept topped up by the wind generator so astonishingly he only ran the engine for 10 hours on the whole voyage.
Overall, Peter’s race was very enjoyable. If he didn’t enjoy it, he wouldn’t do it. As yet he hasn’t discounted being at the start again for his 10th OSTAR!
He is returning to The Green Dragon, with a few tales of daring do, only hoping that he doesn’t have to buy too many drinks for his good friends!