More than 200 people have signed up to attend a 20th anniversary reunion

Hundreds of people will be gathering at the London Boat Show 2013 this Saturday to celebrate sailing round the world ‘the wrong way’ 20 years ago.

The event is for skippers and crew from Chay Blyth’s 1992-93 British

Steel Challenge yacht race, plus the four subsequent Global Challenge races.

It is taking place at the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show on Saturday 19 January, with Sir Chay Blyth attending.

Race veterans are coming from as far away as Australia,

Hong Kong, New Zealand, USA and all across Europe.

It

was on Saturday 26 September 1992 that ten 67ft steel yachts set

off from Southampton for Rio de Janeiro, on the first 5,300-mile leg of the

epic 28,000-mile race. The only other stops for the amateur sailors were

Hobart, Tasmania, and Cape Town.

The Daily Mail

dubbed the event ‘The Mid-life Crisis Challenge’ and some in the yachting

establishment poured scorn on the project, saying it was foolhardy and

irresponsible to send greenhorns into the Southern Ocean west-about around Cape

Horn.

Chay called the event ‘the toughest yacht race ever – an extraordinary

adventure for ordinary people.’

It cost

£14,850 – or about 50p a mile – to sign up for the whole race – and there was a

long waiting list. There was a two-year training programme with some crews

enduring Force 10 winds in the English Channel in winter.

Most of the

sailors were trained by Pete Goss, later appointed one of the skippers. Goss

and Mike Golding are two of the skippers who will be absent from the reunion.

The former is currently kayaking around Hobart and Golding is racing up the

Atlantic on the final stretch of the solo, non-stopVendee Globe round the world

race.

The Boat

Show reunion includes plans for an auction of Global Challenge memorabilia, in

aid of Save the Children, plus screening of videos from the Challenge events, and

a buffet dinner.

Two ex-Global Challenge yachts, Challenger 3/Sarah, operated

by The Tall Ships Youth Trust, and Catzero, managed by the

sail training charity, CatZero, are also at the show on the marina berth M163/4. 

The organiser

is sailing journalist Barry Pickthall who wrote the book ‘No Guts – No Glory’ on the event. Barry

says: ‘We have not managed to track down every crew member, so if you are still

in contact with your  crew-mates, please tell them, we don’t want anyone

to miss out!’

Tickets for

the reunion are £20, including the buffet dinner, if you already have a boat

show ticket, or £30 including the boat show. The Reunion buffet dinner will take

place in the Platinum Suite level 3, (follow signs for the BMF/RYA Lounge) starting

at 7pm, when the Show closes, and will continue until 11pm.

To book, visit the show website, click on the Show Tickets – Buy Now! and select 19 January and

type in the promotional code BTG.

If you have a show ticket

already use the promotional code BTGE. 

The deadline for booking is

Friday.

To find out more call Barry Pickthall on +44 (0)7768

395719 or email barry@pplmedia.com

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