In 1975 Eric Stallard and two young friends set out from Appledore on May 27th in A115, Sabrina of Croyde, to cross the Atlantic. They had a stormy passage through the Bay of Biscay but reached Terceira in the Azores, a sailing distance of 1500 miles, on June 15th. They took a three day break and then decided to sail to Bermuda where they arrived on July 17th. Again they took a rest and did sightseeing for a week before setting out for Norfolk, Virginia. It was on this leg of the voyage, on 25th July, that Sabrina encountered Hurricane Blanche. During the storm they experienced 30-40 ft waves crashing down on the boat, stanchions were ripped out, the radar reflector and one drum of diesel lost. Read about it in extracts from the log below which were published in the 1975-76 Annual Bulletin.
Apart from damage to the aft bulkhead and water getting into the stern cabin, the boat had withstood the onslaught of those enormous seas. A remarkable tribute to her design and construction and, of course, to the skill and courage of Eric Stallard and his crew, who were subsequently, awarded the AOA Etchell’s Silver Trophy.
The pages from the 1975-76 bulletin are reproduced below (Members can access the whole bulletin from the “Reference’ page).