The race was jointly sponsored by the Daily Telegraph and BP and a total of £17k prize money was on offer, though the race was much more about taking part and pitting boats against nature than the prizes on offer.
A race of such duration had never previously been attempted but it drew considerable interest from the – then – offshore racing world and the extracts from Motor Boat and Yachting provide an excellent commentary on the race and the issues it threw up (These documents have been reproduced by kind permission of MBY and are on the right).
43 boats crossed the line and 24 finished. Ocean Pirate came 7th overall taking 48 hours and 36 minutes to cover the 1403 miles at an average speed of 29.3 mph. She also won the Best Prepared and Presented entry and second prize in the Concours d’Elegance.
Her crew were:
- Chris Dowsett - Skipper / Helmsman
- John Turvey - Rigger / Joint Helmsman
- Leonard Clark - Engineer
- Bernard Silom - Crewman
- Flt Lt. Tom Nutman
- Flt Lt. Graham Duffy
It is assumed that the RAF men did the navigation.
Copies of photographs of the boat on trials before the race and of her during the race can be seen on this link and also the front page of the Lowestoft Journal on 8th August 1969 showing the local perspective.
A copy of the report that was delivered to the Directors after the race describes in details how she fared.
Her main rivals were the Ford engined Fairey boats and that may well be the case again in the race next year.