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Issue 10 - A taste of home

Whisky Magazine Issue 10
June 2000


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A taste of home

Jane Slade talks to racing yachtsman Andy Hindley about his love of the dram and the sea.

It was a heart-breaking moment when Andy Hindley saw his dream literally break up before his eyes. Just days after the dramatic launch of Team Phillips, from the quayside in Totnes, and its naming by Her Majesty The Queen at Tower Bridge, Andy was witnessing the cracking and groaning hull wrench itself free from the body of the boat and drift away. Some might say there was a Titanic prophecy about the event. Thousands of people lined the streets of the Cornish village and journalists from all over the world flocked to see the most technologically advanced racing yacht being launched. They also listened to and recorded the skipper boast of his crew's readiness to smash world records now that he had a boat which could intimidate any craft which dared to approach its wake.

But even the most hardened cynic must have felt a twinge of sorrow when the catamaran cracked up just nine miles off the Scilly Isles. "I was at the helm when it happened," Andy explains. "I heard part of the hull cracking and groaning and then saw it work its way free and float away. I felt so sick. There was nothing we could do but watch it go. I wasn't worried about our safety as it was clear the boat was not going to sink. I just felt heart-broken that our boat had shattered."

It was also a case of seeing £4 million float down the Swannee (the cost of the building project), coupled with considerable embarrassment that a slice of something at the cutting edge of sailing technology had just severed its...

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