Missing British yachtsman Robin Davie made contact with rescue authorities saying all was well three days after the UK Coastguard first broadcast an ‘All Ships Alert’.
Davie, a 67 year old experienced sailor who has successfully completed three solo circumnavigations, set out from the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne, at 10:00 on Saturday 5th January on his Rustler 36, C’EST LA VIE, en route to his home berth in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Expected back last Tuesday from the 300-mile cross-Channel voyage, his brother, Rick Davie, reported him overdue on the on the Wednesday morning. The UK Maritime Coastguard Falmouth had been broadcasting alerts to all shipping in the area since then.
Davie made contact with rescue authorities at 22:00 on Friday reporting that all was well onboard and giving his position as 25 miles south west of the Scilly Isles.
“This is fantastic news,” said Rick Davie who had begun to fear the worst. “I am so grateful for all the help and publicity provided by the Coastguard services and the media for publicising this.”
Davie’s yacht had recently undergone a complete refit including new mast and rigging, which had been fitted in Les Sables D’Olonne. Davie had entered the 2018 Golden Globe Race but ran out of time to complete his preparations and was returning home to Cornwall intending to compete in the next GGR solo round the world race in 2022.
It appears that faced with very light head winds, Davie decided to take one long tack out into the Atlantic well out of radio range and the main shipping routes, rather than zig-zag upwind on the direct route north to Brest and across to Falmouth.
Born in 1951 in St Agnes, Cornwall, the sea has always been in his blood. Davie recalled recently Robin Knox-Johnston’s return to Falmouth at the end of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1969 to become the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world. His school refused to give his class time off to watch the spectacle, but he remembers saying to himself: “I’ll do that one day”.
After serving in the British Merchant Navy for 20 years, Davie competed in the first BOC Challenge Around Alone Race in 1990 in yacht named Spirit of Cornwall, and went on to make his second and third solo circumnavigations in the 1994 and 1998 BOC races. During the 1994 race he was dismasted thousands of miles from Cape Horn and sailed under jury rig around the Cape to the Falkland Islands.