I had been preparing to enter the OSTAR or Original Single Handed Transatlantic Race last year. This was to have been the 60th Anniversary of Blondie Hasler, Francis Chichester, David Lewis, Val Howells and Jean Lacombe’s first Singlehanded Transatlantic Race, also organised by the Royal Western Yacht Club.
Last year I was working as Captain out in Gabon in March, needing to get off the ship by the middle of April to make it to the start line in Plymouth. Due to Covid my company put a halt on crew changes for a number of months in March. Thinking that the easiest way to get home would be to resign and make my own way at the appropriate time I tendered my resignation. Within a few days the race had been postponed by a year and I had to ask for my job back!
Anyway, fast forward a year and by the end of this February (when we had to pay our entry fees of about 2000 pounds) I had asked the club how many sets of fees had been received. I received the reassuring reply that they had 12 for the Ostar and 2 for the Two Star (two handed race which would be run in parallel) and that they were expecting one or two more to come in shortly.
By late March we were told that the race did not have sufficient numbers to be financially viable and that it would be postponed for another year. This was tremendously disappointing. It transpired that they needed 9 competitors to make it viable and they only had 7. I’m not sure what happened to the other 5. In any event of the 7 of us 5 decided to just go anyway. Since then we’ve not heard from one of these. This leaves 4 who are communicating and intending to set off on the originally planned route on the same date.
Myself in Freya, a Wauquiez Gladiateur 33
Ertan Beskardes in a Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Guido Cantini in a Vancouver 34 Hannah of Cowes
Charlene Howard in a Jeanneau 45 AJ Wanderlust (intending to go two handed).
With,possibly, one more if he’s just gone quiet and is intending to start anyway. Ertan and Guido are intending to do the Golden Globe Race next year for which this would be a qualifier.
The Name of the Race we decided should be Nostar to be similar to the actual race and so as to cock a wee snook at it.
After we were all in touch Charlene was strongly of the opinion that the race should be named after her mother who died last year. Whilst a couple of us were not enthusiastic about this we didn’t have strong feelings so this is why it is called Charlottte’s Nostar. This bears similarities to the intended race’s name which would have been Mail a Sail Ostar because of a sponsor, but in fact just called Ostar other than on publicity announcements.