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Re­flec­tions: The Mur­ray White story | Crossword To the sea once more | Res­ur­rect­ing Kate Vin­tageview: Ida, a fine Bai­ley launch

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doesn’t know about Mistral sail­ing isn’t worth know­ing. White’s crew dur­ing most of these years were each of his five chil­dren in turn.

“I’d say to each of them, for two years we’re sail­ing ev­ery Satur­day af­ter­noon, it’s a com­mit­ment. As each one fin­ished their two years, I’d re­place them with the next. Of course, the one that left would be quickly snapped up by an­other skip­per. I had a won­der­ful time sail­ing with our chil­dren.”

Thus, in turn, Robert, Linda, Christo­pher, He­len and Rose­mary learned to sail. Robert later be­came a sail­maker, now re­tired, and owns a 12m Hunter yacht, while Christo­pher is an ar­dent wind­surfer.

Mis­trals are only raced dur­ing the sum­mer and dur­ing the win­ter White would crew for Town­son on his keel­ers.

“Our win­ter race crew on Des’ keel­ers were all Mistral guys – Roger Ham­lin, Ron Nor­ton, Leo Holden and Frank Davis. We’d race against each other all sum­mer, then race to­gether with Des all win­ter. It made for great friend­ships.”

White raced and sailed on Serene, Moon­light, Starlight, Twi­light, Dream­time, Rest­less and Tal­ent. But it was aboard Moon­light he had his most high-pro­file cam­paign, the 1971 One Ton Cup (OTC) tri­als.

In 1970 Town­son had sold Moon­light to the late Peter Mul­grew, who then de­cided to en­ter her in the OTC tri­als. This was an au­da­cious move; Moon­light was a cruis­ing yacht worth $11,500 and would be com­pet­ing against the lat­est IOR One Ton­ners cost­ing around $50,000. But with Roy Dick­son’s help, Mul­grew mod­i­fied Moon­light to rate one-ton and White joined the crew.

Al­though Mul­grew’s mod­est bud­get pre­cluded buy­ing de­cent sails, lead­ing up to the tri­als Moon­light was prov­ing com­pet­i­tive. The cam­paign suf­fered a se­ri­ous set­back when Moon­light dropped her mast dur­ing a race to Chan­nel Is­land and back, but Mul­grew man­aged to re­pair it to make the start line.

Race one and Moon­light, the small­est yacht in the fleet,

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