Mithril was originally bought in 1992 with Tom’s father who initially had a 33% interest and was able to access inexpensive pile moorings at HMS Dolphin. In the early years we raced her in the Warsash Spring Series and Hamble Winter Series, cruising her in the summer months when we were not dinghy racing. By the late 1990s Tom’s father’s share had been bought out and Mithril moved to Hamble Point Marina where she was dry sailed, helping to transform her performance. Over the next few years she won the Solent six race a day series, the black fleet class award at Cowes Week (in the year in question, the class trophy for the week allowed for no discards after one race was lost from the week from lack of wind, but at least the black fleet award allowed Mithril to discard a 19th place in a race that she had led until a mile from final mark), the Sigma class in the Round the Island Race and the Hamble Winter Series.
The photo of Mithril below by Hamo Thornycroft is from the Hamble Winter Series in 1993 when we were still learning how to make Sigmas go fast. Tom’s brother John is the bearded crew member holding the spinnaker sheet and Natalie is hidden behind him.
We won the our class in the Round the Island in 2000, from an entry of well over 40, Natalie somehow finding us a clear lane on every tack on the final beat. Christel Clear took this photo as we led the fleet up the eastern Solent towards the finish.
The class championship was in Falmouth in 2001. We raced inside the harbour one day because it was blowing a full gale outside, with the start in the mouth of the St Mawes creek. We spotted the opportunity for a port tack start, which felt pretty bold given the conditions, but crossed the fleet comfortably.
We were cooking on gas in 2001. This photo shows Mostly Harmless approaching a mark on her way to a race win during Cowes Week:
2002 was the final season. These shots are from the Warsash Spring Series, taken by Acquarius Media Solutions and Hamo Thornycroft:
This final glorious photograph from Beken shows Mithril on her way to winning the penultimate race of the Hamble Winter Series and the series outright. At last we know how to make a Sigma 33 go quickly!
Mithril was sold to Ross Boyd in 2003 and was last heard of still winning races in Northern Ireland in 2012.