40th Anniversary of Fastnet Storm reunites Irish teams

13 March 2019
40th Anniversary of Fastnet Storm reunites Irish teams
This year is the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Fastnet Race disaster and a special commemorative event is to be held in Howth Yacht Club on the 11th of October. The anniversary lunch will reunite the many Irish sailors who took part in the race, many of whom still have frightening memories of the Force 10 storm that claimed 15 lives, sinking 5 yachts and saw 136 sailors rescued by the emergency services.
Eighteen Irish yachts took part in the race – seven from Cork, ten from Dublin and one from Northern Ireland and invitations have been extended to all of their owners, skippers and crew to attend what is likely to be an emotional reunion for all. The occasion will also remember many of the sailors who have passed away since then, not unusual given the passage of 4 decades and the broad age-profile of the offshore sailing community both then and now. 
The Fastnet ’79 Irish contingent was made up of the following yachts:

Admiral’s Cup

Golden Apple of the Sun

 Hugh Coveney




 Ken Rohan




 Bramwell/ Buchanan



Wild Goose




Silver Apple of the Moon          




Class 1

Red Rock III

 Otto Glazer





Denis Doyle



Class 2

Golden Leigh

Leslie Kertesz




Irish Mist III

Archie O’Leary



Class 3

Silver Apple

Philip Watson




Finndabar of Howth

Patrick Jameson





Barry O’Donnell




Tom O’Shanter

Jim Butler




Live Wire

Derry O’Brien



Class 4

Black Arrow

RAF (Donal McClement)



Class 5


Robert Mollard




Silver Foam

Guss Mehigan





Brian Kelly



The Fastnet ’79 Irish Reunion on October 11th will be run in conjunction with the RNLI, whose lifeboats from Scilly, Baltimore, Ballycotton, Courtmacsherry, Dunmore East and Penlee formed a vital part of the largest ever peace-time maritime rescue operation that included the Irish Naval Service, the Royal Navy, Dutch Navy, US Navy, HM Coastguard and involved more than 4000 people.  The lifeboat crews spent 75 hours at sea in 60-knot winds and huge seas.
Enquiries about the event should be made to Kevin Burke c/o Howth Yacht Club