Champagne Hippy - Incredible that we even made it to the start
4 days in to the ARC 2019 and it still seems incredible that Champagne
Hippy even made it this far.
A bit of history for those who don't know about the boat - she was
launched in 2014 as Polina Star III. There were issues with the keel
right from the start and one year later the bottom of the boat parted
company form the hull. The keel matrix had completely failed and the 23
ton keel, complete with the keel stub broke off when the boat was
sailing in the Mediterranean. Very quickly the boat capsized and sank in
40m of water where she lay for 3 months.
She was salvaged and eventually bought by 4 brothers from Essex who
happened to own a boatyard (Essex Marina and Boats.co.uk).
One of the brothers, Nick took on the project after buying the hull from
the insurers and exactly a year later, with 30% of the hull completely
rebuilt from new mould, she hit the water in October. A new mast was
stepped a couple of weeks later, and it has been a race against the cock
to get her to the start of the ARC. Many of you may have seen the team
still working late into the night building the interior - literally
still building doors, bunks, showers etc.
we were late for the start as we needed to fuel up and give the build
team as much time as possible to finish what they could.
4 days in and we are still building as we go! At least the weather is
getting warmer and the sun is shining. We have fantastic food thanks to
Sam our cook and the boat is coming together bit by bit thanks to Nick.
We have been motor-sailing part of the way as the boys onboard want to
get to the rum punch and hopefully we can get to the trade winds soon
and start to do some proper sailing. At least we are back in with the
fleet and once the wind comes we can get trucking again.
Can't wait :-)
Cheers for now
Alex - skipper
Oyster 825 - Champagne Hippy