Bob Higgins

Tony and ‘Bob’: Sailing, Not Skimming around the Isle of Wight

Posted in Environment by Bob Higgins on June 20, 2010

BP’s ‘Prince of Public Relations’ Tony Hayward left his reluctant witness chair in Washington and headed (by private jet I assume) for the Isle of Wight for a typical family weekend of … yachting or more correctly ‘yacht racing.’

Tony's Excellent Yacht - A 52' Farr

Hayward’s yacht, a 52 foot Farr named ‘Bob’ was one of nearly 1700 entries in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. The race, which is being held this year for the 79th time is a 50 mile trip around the Isle of Wight and attracts some 16,000 sailors from around the world.

It is unknown how many shrimpers and skimmers from the Gulf coast entered this year.

‘Bob’ a grey hulled Farr 52 built in 2000 is listed among the race entries as entered in the IRC Division ‘0’ by Rob Gray, Sam Laidlaw, and Tony Hayward. Bob placed 4th in it’s class which was won by ‘Velsheda, a ‘J’ class yacht built in 1933 and skippered by Oliver Tizzard.’

Among the many thrilling moments in the race was the saga of Mike Slade whose ICAP Leopard was impeded by a lobster pot until being freed by a diver; ‘Sadly there was nothing in it’ said Slade.

I looked for a Farr 52 online and found one available in the Netherlands for a cool $228,000 but I doubt that it is properly setup for such grueling blue water racing as the ‘Round the Island’ race.

Tony’s weekend of racing, was described by a BP spokesperson as  “a rare moment of private time” and that “no matter where he is, he is always in touch with what is happening within BP” and can “direct recovery operations if required.” Thank whatever gods may be for that.

At the current estimated spew rate of 120 million gallons a day it looks like Tony is going to miss out on the spread of another two or three hundred million gallons of light sweet crud while he’s fighting lobster pots and other hazards in the Channel off Merry England’s south coast.

Click on the Image to Follow the Race

Bob Higgins

Related stories:

As oil spews in Gulf, BP chief Tony Hayward attends yacht race at UK’s Isle of Wight
BP CEO at yacht race during spill

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