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Luke Morrison sails Laser round Isle of Wight for BASICS Hampshire

by Andre Ozanne 3 Sep 2012 11:19 BST 27 August 2012
Luke Morrison sails round the Isle of Wight in aid of BASICS Hampshire © Andre Ozanne

One Luke, one Laser, one Island, one Challenge

On Bank Holiday Monday 27th August Luke Morrison of Hill Head Sailing Club set off for a round the Island trip in a Laser Dinghy. The aim of this trip was to raise awareness for a Hampshire Based Charity BASICS Hampshire.

BASICS Hampshire is a small group of volunteer doctors who provide pre-hospital care in the vital moments before they get to a hospital. BASICS Hampshire currently rely only on volunteers efforts to raise funds.

Setting off from Hill Head with the odd chinkle of a halyard on nearby yachts the stretch down to Hurst narrows was in retrospect a gentle hors d’oeurve. Luke chose a particularly smooth course through the narrows while we in the rib were tossed around, along with nearby yachts.

Approaching the Needles was speedy with a fair tide beneath us, casting my eyes out I was aware of some pretty large white horses and at this point I was concerned. The intention for Luke was to thread the needle but as these things have a habit of doing at the point where he decided on his lay line the wind swung and dropped. Luke then decided to go around and ten minutes into this approach he became aware of waves that he has never sailed a dinghy in before. He dug deep and powered his way through on a close hauled course. My concerns eased as I saw how he was coping with this challenge and Adrian and I hung on in a very wet rib, a lot of, on the quarter over the head stuff.

After a spell of 30 minutes of this intense sailing I was concerned again as I was looking into the next two hours and could see no respite along the route to St. Catherine’s Point and of course beyond all the way to Bembridge Ledge, I felt that this was a huge ask on Luke. I felt uneasy inside that I had been the person that had sparked this idea off with Luke but I couldn’t wave a trident at these waves and settle them, but I sure wished I could, we kept a very eagle eye on Luke and one on the waves hitting us. We followed to the stern and windward of Luke and about five and a half hours in, I felt Luke’s body language was looking low and I snook around to his port side to get a glimpse of his face, which told a story of determination, pain and exhaustion. I thought through what the options were and willed him on in my mind. Coming along side Luke with these waves was possible but very risky. I haven’t had chance to ask Luke what happened but possibly a very near capsize enlivened him and with what I would think was the deepest he has ever dug he climbed up and rounded St. Catherine’s Point, a psychological victory for him. Ventnor was still to come and here the waves were more confused and just as big, Luke was now in the groove and as he bore away from the wind heading for Bembridge he broad reached making 10.5 / 11 knots and had a great time stretching his aching legs and knees. The sight of Bembridge Life boat station was a welcome sight as the waves eased and Portsmouth was visible. The rest was plain sailing with a sail by Colin Chambers in Athlone Castle who kindly moored near No Mans fort with spare fuel and sustenance if needed.

A foul tide and dropping wind slowed progress to Hill Head but it kept the bets on of what time Luke would arrive, in a state of flux. A fabulous crowd awaited Luke at the sailing club and Dr. Phil Hyde the inspiration for Luke to support BASICS Hampshire the charity which Phil gives his spare time to saving lives was there to greet him. Massive thanks to everyone that has donated, thanks to the many people that have helped in many ways to raise funds for BASICS, to Adrian Whyntie for all the logistics of providing the support boat and passage.

To Luke an amazing achievement in testing conditions, a challenge which from the time of having to postpone due to pleurisy to yesterday has played on his mind, now he can look back and he knows that he has done something that very few have, my hat is off. To the next time Andre.

To view more about this trip and the extended library of photos and videos please go to

If you would like to donate to this important charity please go to:

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