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The 2009 Fastnet race kicked off yesterday from Cowes. It’s a Bi-Annual Yacht race from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, round the Fastnet rock lighthouse off the South West coast of Ireland finishing in Plymouth, a distance of 608 miles. This year is the 30th anniversary of the 1979 race, in which a severe storm producing hurricane force winds and mountainous seas claimed the lives of 15 yachtsmen. The 30ft yacht ‘Grimalkin’ - the boat my uncle Nick was on that year, was one of the smallest in the fleet and lost 2 crew members during the storm. He himself had been washed overboard at the time the other crew members took the decision to abandon ship, so when he finally managed to haul himself back onto the boat, it was empty. Eventually after another 14 hours, he was winched to safety.He’s always regretted not finishing the race, so this year he’s giving it another shot crewing on the yacht ‘Ariel’. I just checked and they’re currently 254th out of 300.The weather’s looking good so everything should be OK this time around, it certainly couldn’t be any worse. I’m going to try to get down to Plymouth to wave him in. Watch an interview here.