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All Ships Alert for missing yachtsman Robin Davie

by Barry Pickthall, Golden Globe Race 11 Jan 14:36 GMT 11 January 2019
Robin Davie sailing aboard his 36ft - Golden Globe Race © Barry Pickthall / PPL

Falmouth Coastguard has issued an 'All Ships Alert' for British solo yachtsman Robin Davie, now three days overdue on a 300 mile solo cross-Channel voyage from Les Sables d'Olonne, France back to his home port of Falmouth in Cornwall.

The 67-year old experienced sailor, who has successfully completed three solo circumnavigations, set out from the French port at 10:00 on Saturday 5th January, telling his brother Rick Davie to expect him back last Tuesday. Nothing has been heard from him since.

Davie was reported overdue on Wednesday morning and the UK Maritime Coastguard Falmouth have been broadcasting alerts to all shipping in the area since then. No EPIRB signal has been detected.

Weather conditions have been light and variable for the past week. Davie's yacht, the Rustler 36 C'EST La VIE 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.

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.

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