Howards Way boat Flying Fish sinks after evening race collision

Yachtsmen are warned that there is a sunken boat on the edge of the Hamble’s entrance channel. This morning at high tide just the tip of the mast could be seen near red pile number seven.

Photo: by Eddie Mays from Raymarine Warsash Spring Series
The boat is Flying Fish, the Laser 28 that featured in the TV series Howard’s Way. It sank last night after being holed in a port and starboard collision on the start line of the Hamble Sailing Club’s Wednesday evening race. Flying Fish was on starboard, say witnesses; the port boat was a Beneteau 40.7.

Flying Fish sank within minutes between piles number 6 and 8. The crew were rescued by a motorboat. The wreck was later dragged over to pile number 7 just out of the channel by Hamble Rescue. Hamble Harbour Authority patrol officers were on station all night to ensure safe navigation.

Today RS Divers will put airbags into the wreck to lift it, then Hamble Yacht Services will tow it to the HYS yard, where Flying Fish’s owner, Rupert Smalley, is rigging manager.

Assistant Harbourmaster Wendy Stowe, who won the race, witnessed the accident from her 707 Feeling Rough. ‘It’s the biggest accident I’ve seen for a long time’, she told PBO, ‘the fleet was shocked. Our harbour office team is working hard today to ensure the wreck is moved with minimum disruption to other river users.

Flying Fish is a piece of history, thanks to the enduring memory of Howard’s Way among sailors. It will be seen later today on lifting whether owners Rupert and Kathy Smalley will be able to restore her and race again.