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Sir Charles Blyth
|Born||14 May 1940|
|Known for||First person to sail single-handed non-stop westwards around the world|
Sir Charles Blyth CBE BEM (born 14 May 1940 ), known as Chay Blyth, is a Scottish yachtsman and rower. He was the first person to sail single-handed non-stop westwards around the world (1971), on a 59-foot boat called British Steel .
The British Empire Medal is a British medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. The current honour was created in 1922 to replace the original medal, which had been established in 1917 as part of the Order of the British Empire.
A yacht is a watercraft used for pleasure or sports. The term originates from the Dutch word jacht, and originally referenced light, fast sailing vessels that the Dutch Republic navy used to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. The yacht was popularized by Charles II of England as a pleasure or recreation vessel following his restoration in 1660.
British Steel is a 59 ft ketch famous for a circumnavigation of the globe "the wrong way" by Chay Blyth in 1970/71.
Blyth was born in Hawick, Roxburghshire. He joined the British Army Parachute Regiment when he was 18 and was promoted to Sergeant at the age of 21.
Hawick is a town in the Scottish Borders council area and historic county of Roxburghshire in the east Southern Uplands of Scotland. It is 10.0 miles (16.1 km) south-west of Jedburgh and 8.9 miles (14.3 km) south-southeast of Selkirk. It is one of the farthest towns from the sea in Scotland, in the heart of Teviotdale, and the biggest town in the former county of Roxburghshire. Hawick's architecture is distinctive in that it has many sandstone buildings with slate roofs. The town is at the confluence of the Slitrig Water with the River Teviot. Hawick is known for its yearly Common Riding, for its rugby team Hawick Rugby Football Club and for its knitwear industry.
Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh is a historic county and registration county in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. It borders Dumfriesshire to the west, Selkirkshire and Midlothian to the north-west, and Berwickshire to the north. To the south-west it borders Cumberland and to the south-east Northumberland, both in England.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
|1966||Whilst in the army, Blyth, together with Captain John Ridgway, rowed across the North Atlantic in a 20 ft open dory called English Rose III. After successfully completing this in 92 days, Blyth was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).|
|1968||With no sailing experience, he competed in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, aboard a 30 ft yacht called Dytiscus. He retired from the race just past the Cape of Good Hope. Author Peter Nichols wrote that, "Few people leaving a dock for an afternoon sail in a dinghy have cast off with less experience than Chay Blyth had when he set sail alone around the world".|
|1971||Blyth became the first person to sail non-stop westwards around the world, aboard the yacht British Steel , taking 292 days, and as a result was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).|
|1973||Blyth skippered a crew of paratroopers in the yacht Great Britain II, which took line honours in the 3rd stage of the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.|
|1978||He won the Round Britain Race in the yacht Great Britain IV.|
|1981||Entered the Whitbread race again in the yacht "United Friendly" and was the first British yacht to finish.|
|1981||On the yacht “Brittany Ferries GB” he won the Two-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race with co-skipper Rob James in record time.|
|1981||Came second again in the Round the Island Race (Isle of Wight).|
|1982||Came second overall and first in class in the Round Britain and Ireland Race on “Brittany Ferries GB”.|
|1984||Capsized off Cape Horn aboard the trimaran “Beefeater II” whilst attempting to break the New York – San Francisco record with Eric Blunn. Rescued by passing fishing boat after 19 hours in the water.|
|1985||Co-skipper with Richard Branson on Virgin Atlantic Challenger I|
|1986||Co-skipper with Richard Branson on Virgin Atlantic Challenger II|
Later he founded the Challenge Business to organise the 1992/1993 British Steel Challenge in 1989. This event allowed novices to sail around the world in a professionally organised race.
The Global Challenge was a round the world yacht race run by Challenge Business, the company started by Sir Chay Blyth in 1989. It was held every four years, and took a fleet of one-design steel yachts, crewed by ordinary men and women who have paid to take part, round Cape Horn and through the Southern Ocean where winds can reach 70 kn (130 km/h). The fee for the last race proposed was £28,750. It was unique in that the race took the westabout route around the world against prevailing winds and currents - often referred to as the ‘wrong way’ route.
The British Steel Challenge was followed by two successive BT Global Challenge races in 1996/97 and 2000/01. However, a downturn in the sponsorship market meant that the 2004/2005 Global Challenge race set off without a title sponsor.
Sir Chay started the company Challenge Business, to operate first the British Steel Challenge 1992—93 and then the Global Challenge Round the World yacht races. The success of the British Steel Challenge carved the way for the future success of the Global Challenge races.
Sir Chay is chairman of Inspiring Performance. He also heads the board of directors at train company First Great Western – Greater Western franchise. He is non executive chairman of the franchise which was formed to run the new and enlarged franchise from 1 April 2006. The franchise combines the previous First Great Western, First Great Western Link and Wessex Trains franchises.
First Great Western Link (FGWL) was a train operating company in England owned by FirstGroup that operated the Thames franchise from April 2004 until March 2006.
As chairman of Challenge Business, he was the mentor for Dee Caffari on her successful bid to be the first woman to sail around the world against the prevailing winds and currents in 2005–2006.
Denise "Dee" Caffari MBE is a British sailor, and in 2006 became the first woman to sail single-handedly and non-stop around the world "the wrong way"; westward against the prevailing winds and currents. In February 2009, Caffari completed the Vendée Globe race and set a new record to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in both directions.
Yacht racing is a form of sport involving sailing yachts and larger sailboats, as distinguished from dinghy racing. It is composed of multiple yachts, in direct competition, racing around a course marked by buoys or other fixed navigational devices or racing longer distances across open water from point-to-point. It can involve a series of races when buoy racing or multiple legs when point-to-point racing.
The America's Cup, affectionately known as the Auld Mug, is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup match races between two sailing yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America's Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging for the cup. The timing of each match is determined by an agreement between the defender and the challenger. The America's Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy. It will next be raced for in the southern summer, in the early part of 2021.
Bruce Kenneth Farr is a New Zealand designer of racing and cruising yachts. Farr‑designed boats have won, challenged for, or placed highly in the Whitbread Round the World Race, America's Cup, and Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, among others.
Dame Naomi Christine James, DBE is the first woman to have sailed single-handed around the world via Cape Horn, the second woman to have ever sailed solo around the world. She departed Dartmouth, Devon on 9 September 1977 and finished her voyage around the globe on 8 June 1978 after 272 days, thus improving Sir Francis Chichester's solo round-the-world sailing record by two days.
A J-Class yacht is a single-masted racing sailboat built to the specifications of Nathanael Herreshoff's Universal Rule. The J-Class are considered the peak racers of the era when the Universal Rule determined eligibility in the America's Cup.
Pete Goss, MBE is a British yachtsman who has sailed more than 250,000 nautical miles (460,000 km).
The sport and practice of single-handed sailing or solo sailing is sailing with only one crewmember. The term usually refers to ocean and long-distance sailing and is used in competitive sailing and among Cruisers.
The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race, held in 1968–1969, and was the first round-the-world yacht race. The race was controversial due to the failure of most competitors to finish the race and because of the suicide of one entrant; however, it ultimately led to the founding of the BOC Challenge and Vendée Globe round-the-world races, both of which continue to be successful and popular.
Mike Golding is an English yachtsman, born in Great Yarmouth and educated at Reading Blue Coat School. He is one of the few yachtsmen to have raced round the world non stop in both directions. He held the solo record for sailing round the world westabout between 1994 and 2000.
Paul Pierre Cayard is an American yachtsman and professional sailor. He has competed at multiple world championship level sailing events, including the America's Cup, the Whitbread Round the World Race,the Volvo Ocean Race and the Olympic Games. In 1998 he was selected as the US Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year. He has won seven world championships, twice participated in the Olympic Games and seven times in the America's Cup. In 2002 he was elected into the Sailing World Hall of Fame.
John Manfield Ridgway MBE, is a British yachtsman and rower.
Conrad David Humphreys is a professional yachtsman, adventurer and motivational speaker. Conrad has competed in three round the world races, two fully crewed and one single handed He has also competed in the Transat (2004), the Route du Rhum, the Transat Jacques Vabre (2003), the Archipelago Raid (2008-2011) the Extreme Sailing Series (2005-7) and La Solitaire du Figaro (2011).
Great Britain II is a Maxi racing yacht launched by Princess Anne on 21 May 1973 named after the SS Great Britain, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel which was the world's first "iron clad" steam ship and whose salvage from the Falklands was underwritten by Sir Jack Hayward, who also funded the building of GB II.
Shamrock V was the first British yacht to be built to the new J-Class rule. She was commissioned by Sir Thomas Lipton for his fifth America's Cup challenge. Although refitted several times, Shamrock is the only J-class never to have fallen into dereliction.
David Ullman is an international yachtsman, sailboat racer, and sailmaker. Ullman founded Ullman Sails in Newport Beach, California in 1967.
SailGP is an international sailing competition using high performance F50 foiling catamarans.