De­nis Gor­man

Yachting Monthly - - LEARNING CURVE -

Born in Glas­gow in 1961, his sense of ad­ven­ture led him into the Royal Navy where he saw ac­tive ser­vice in the Falk­lands War. Fam­ily life in­ter­vened un­til in 2008 when, in his 23ft Virgo Voy­ager, he took part in the Jester Azores Chal­lenge. In his next boat, a 27ft Al­bin Vega, he com­pleted the 2010 Jester Transat­lantic. He is plan­ning to sail to the Caribbean next win­ter. an anx­ious voice called out,

‘ Lizzie G, Lizzie G, are you there?’ Then again, ‘This is Sea-land Racer call­ing Lizzie G. Are you there?’

I clam­bered be­low, took a mo­ment to wipe the dis­be­lief from my face and then picked up the mike.

‘ Sea-land Racer, this is Lizzie G. Thank you for your avoid­ing ac­tion. We have suc­cess­fully passed your port side. It was close but we are fine. No dam­age. Over.’

There were two or more peo­ple on the bridge and a fair amount of alarm and con­ster­na­tion at our near col­li­sion. I had been right. It was the other ves­sel that showed up on their radar screen, not me. From their bridge, with their great length and high bow, they had failed to see my tiny sail­ing ves­sel. Some­one’s prompt ac­tion upon hear­ing my re­quest for them to turn ‘hard to star­board’ had un­doubt­edly saved my life, and them­selves a lot of trou­ble.

On that night, I came as close as I ever did to los­ing ev­ery­thing.

Now firmly in the grip of the sin­gle­handed sail­ing bug, De­nis signed up for his sec­ond Jester Azores Chal­lenge in 2012 De­nis wrote a book on how the sea and sail­ing trans­formed him from a trou­bled child of the Glas­gow ten­e­ments into a solo...

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