And in the multihull class, the Olympic double gold and silver medalist Rodney Pattisson brought back to Cowes the trimaran Paragon which, in 1986, set the all-time race record of 3hr 55min 28sec for the 50.2-nautical mile course.
It was Donald's grandfather, Ted to whom he paid tribute. "He built the boat at the farm in Hamble just after the war, and the rest of the village helped him launch it," he said. "I have been sailing on it since I was three and I feel very proud to have sailed my grandfather's boat to victory in what, for us, is the FA Cup of sailing."
His time of 11hr 16min, including a recovery from a brush with the rocks in Freshwater Bay, was nowhere near a record and it was on corrected time that he came through. Nor was Eddie Warden Owen able to coax a fast time out of the Whitbread 60 Hoya to break the monohull record, despite the talismanic presence of Linford Christie among the crew.
Warden Owen had a cast of 22, while Donald had just two friends to help: Michael Stoner, after whose mother the boat was named, and Derek Smith, who is a managing director of London Underground. For once, the circle line ran smoothly.
Pattisson was as delighted with the win on Saturday as he had been when setting the record. "She is still beautiful, still fast," he said. "The future of yacht racing is in multihulls and it is appropriate that the designer of Paragon, Adrian Thompson, is behind the catamaran that Pete Goss will sail in his Jules Verne round-the-world record attempt."Reuse content