Let the party begin. Still many jobs outstanding. But time to go sailing. Over 50 well wishers turned up to celebrate the launch of my lovely Windrunner.

Designed by Dick Zaal (Contest Yachts) and built for Teun Poorter of Ridderstraat 6, Alkmaar, Holland. She was one of 3 built. Windrunner spent 10 years in Holland before being bought by an Englishman who kept her in the Solent; here she was refitted by Southampton Yacht Services. She was taken to Gibraltar and subsequently sold in 1991/2. She is thought to have been sailed to the Caribbean at around this time.

Windrunner was seized and confiscated for drug smuggling by HM Customs and Excise in Aug 1996 in Cornwall. HM Customs and Excise subsequently sold her to Nick Douch, Nick enjoyed her for many years until August 2014.

We sailed out of Chichester Harbour mid August, first stop was Eastbourne and then on to Ramsgate, knowing her history I nearly called her Drugrunner when calling up Ramsgate Port Control on the VHF.

The E bay Deal

During the summer of 2014 Nick had decided to sell her. She had sat in a cradle outside the toilet block at Chichester Marina for a few years. I think due to health reasons and work commitments the urgent repairs were always put off until tomorrow, but for Nick tomorrow never came.  She was basically rotting away from the inside. There were lots of holes in her hull. Anybody walking past could look inside her. There were some patches on the hull but the internal rust hadn't been removed so some patches just peeled away as the rust kept growing. During Nick's ownership he had spent £1000's on electrics, rigging, sails, radar, heating and a hydraulic autohelm system. He carried out a few repairs to the hull with over plating a good short term fix but the rust wasn't going away. I am sure he was faced with the same dilemma I was to be soon to be faced with. Keep adding patches? Or strip out the interior and start again.

I wasn't expecting to buy Windrunner, I tripped over her on E bay. But the auction finished whilst I was away on holiday. She didn't get reserve and a few texts exchanged hands and the deal was done.

 

 But look at her now in 2019 below

 

 

Photo as of 25th June 2019 5 days before launching