A sea of red socks will descend on the Solent as a fleet of yachts sail from Lymington for a special weekend regatta in memory of a sailing legend next weekend.
Lieutenant-Commander Colin de Mowbray was born in 1945 and in keeping with his noble ancestry, went on to fulfill an illustrious career. His service in the Royal Navy spanned over thirty years, including being appointed second in command of HMS Alacrity during the Falklands conflict and culminating in the award of an MBE.
Having left the Navy in 1994, Colin went on to further pursue his love of sailing and established an esteemed reputation as an offshore yachtsman. His lifelong friendship with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and his exemplary seamanship led to him skippering the yacht Chrysolite in the inaugural Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1996. From there, de Mowbray began his career of 14 years with Clipper Ventures, as Race Director and then Operations Director.
Since de Mowbray’s race in 1996, Clipper Ventures has successfully organised a further six circumnavigations, taking ordinary people and training them to become offshore sailors. He built relationships worldwide, from port to port, charming people from all walks of life with his naturally mischievous and selfless nature. Such was Colin’s way that numerous ‘de Mowbray’ traditions are practiced still, such as his seemingly impossible parades of sail in perfect echelon formation.
Upon his retirement in 2009, de Mowbray went on to found and become the Commodore of the Clipper Race Yacht Club, an association of Clipper alumni from all the previous races. His vision was to create a vehicle through which those inspired by their involvement with Clipper could continue to share their experiences both on and off the water. The launch of the club took place in St Katherine’s Dock in April 2009 and was attended by many, including the club President Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Vice President Sir Keith Mills. Since its launch, the club has accrued in excess of five hundred members.
Sadly, Colin de Mowbray passed away suddenly on 11 July 2010 leaving a tangible hole in the lives of those who knew him. His obituary featured in both The Times and The Daily Telegraph, such was his eminence. De Mowbray’s character will live on through the memories of all who knew him, but in true Colin de Mowbray fashion it would be lapse not to create a good old fashion knees up in his honour. His love of red socks and his ability to bring people together inspired t he Clipper Race Yacht Club to create an event with the view to truly fortify the memory of a legend.
On the 2 October 2010, led by the de Mowbray family yacht Fidgit, eight boats from Lymington Yacht Charters crewed by former Clipper crew members will set off through the Solent with prominent red socks flying from the backstays. The weekend will comprise various races and fun, including dinner and celebrations at The Folly Inn on the Saturday night. For many, this will provide a fitting way to honour a man that truly made his mark on ocean yacht racing and on the world as whole.
For further details on the Colin de Mowbray ‘Red Socks’ regatta, please contact Emily Caruso at [email protected].