Man, 50, falls overboard in Fastnet qualifier

A yachtsman drowned in a cross-channel race on Friday night.

Christopher Reddish, 50, was taking part in the RORC Morgan Cup, when he fell overboard approximately 17 miles south-east of the Isle of Wight at 2345.

The crew aboard the yacht, a Reflex 38 called Lion (pictured above), which included his son Alex, was able to recover the man, but a doctor on board pronounced him dead.

A Solent Coastguard spokesman said: ‘We got a mayday call from a yacht in the Morgan Cup race with reports of man overboard.

‘We requested the helicopter to scramble and while this was in the process of happening, they subsequently recovered the person.’

Mr Reddish (below), from Clapham, south-west London, ran a prepaid credit card business from his home.
christopher reddish drowned
Ian Loffhagen, RORC’s racing manager, described him as ‘a very experienced sailor who knew the risks’.

He said: ‘It is with great regret the club has to report a tragic loss of life and our thoughts and condolences are with the family.

‘Everyone has been left devastated by this and in due course the authorities will be looking into how this happened.

‘The club’s ethos is that the responsibility of whether to start or to continue lies with the skipper or the captain of each individual boat.

‘Only they know the capabilities of their crew. Lots of boats decided that they were not up to the challenge. But Chris was a very good yachtsman and he was obviously somebody who was confident that he could complete the race.’

The race – a Fastnet qualifier – had departed Cowes at 1900, although Lion had originally set sail from Shamrock Quay, Southampton, and was heading towards Cherbourg.

After Lion was escorted into Portsmouth Naval base by the Bembridge lifeboat, the police were called and are preparing a coroner’s report, although the incident is not thought to be suspicious.

Subscribe to Yachting Monthly magazine for all the latest sailing news and reviews.