Stephen Pickard

The Rose Medal - 2006

(Lone Gull) – who won the Rambler Medal last year for his voyage on his Neptune 33; Fiddler III, but while holed-up in Tunisia that time he had spotted Maurice Griffiths’ 1938 vintage; “Lone Gull” and this year decided to buy her and sail her back to Beaucaire at the confluence of the Canal du Rhone and the River Rhone. The boat had not been sailed for 5 years and the engine had not been used in that time and, in order to repair the engine he needed to return to France to purchase parts and obtain an outboard as a standby. On returning to Tunisia he rebuilt the engine with local help and re-launched Lone Gull before sailing northwards towards Sardinia but found that she needed a constant hand on the tiller until he started up the engine and she motor-sailed for long periods without needing corrections to the tiller. After some mishaps such as the main halyard being trapped behind a shackle on the jumper stays, the port running backstay being foul of the port after shroud, the fan belt being on it’s last legs due to wear on a re-welded flywheel and the failure of the topping lift, the wind picked up so that they were reaching along at 5 knts together with a school of some 50 dolphins. After 44 hours at sea they found themselves a snug anchorage in Sardinia at 0300 hrs. The voyage was completed via the east coast of Sardinia , the west coast of Corsica, northwest across the Ligurian Sea towards Cannes and then up the River Rhone and the Canal du Rhone to Beaucaire.