– Part I

How getting one boat to the start of an ocean race in 1926 helped to kick-start a new era in international ocean racing. Clare McComb has been back in the family archives

In April 1926 paid hand John Blackmore rowed through the privacy and darkness of Falmouth Harbour to pay a visit to Jolie Brise’s owner George Martin, recent winner of the first Fastnet Race; it was a chance meeting, but George felt able to share a big secret with his sometime skipper and old friend. Today Atlantic crossings are still serious sailing, if commonplace; in those days word that the Commodore of the newly formed Ocean Racing Club was pointing his pilot cutter towards America would have made smoking gossip for the newshounds.

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