Wednesday 23rd July 2008


 Sailor and adventurer Pete Goss has given a big thumbs up to his Cornish Lugger Spirit of Mystery after initial sea trials.

The first photos of the stunning 37-foot wooden vessel under sail were released today and Pete says that he is ecstatic.

The 46 year-old Westcountry sailor and adventurer was positively beaming after stepping ashore. He said: “She is a thing of beauty; an organic living object that is everything I dreamed of and more. She sails well and is safe, fun, simple and kind. I couldn’t be happier.”

The crew is now undergoing training every weekend wherever possible and will undertake a two-week sea passage to prepare for their epic journey to Australia, which will commence in October. Like the original crew, who were all related by either blood or marriage, it will be a family affair comprising: Pete Goss; his younger brother Andy; Pete’s youngest son Eliot (who is 14); and Pete’s brother-in-law Mark Maidment.

Pete, who was awarded an MBE after his dramatic rescue of a fellow competitor in the 1996-7 Vendee Globe single-handed yacht race, said the crew is settling in well, although they are more than aware of the difficult task that lies ahead of them: “The Southern Ocean is a wild and dangerous place that is unforgiving of mistakes. However, we are training hard, the boat is as strong as anything I have ever sailed, and we will be fully prepared for the exciting journey and all it will bring.”

Pete has built Spirit of Mystery to shine a light on the bravery of the seven Cornishmen who made the heroic journey to Melbourne to escape poverty and seek out a new life in Australia. Leaving Newlyn on Saturday 18 November 1854, the Mystery travelled about 11,800 nautical miles in 116 days before arriving in Melbourne on 14 March 1855.

The boat will be available for the public to see at several events over the coming months including:

* A weekend at the Classic Boat Rally at Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, commencing Friday 1 August

* Spirit of Mystery is back at its ‘spiritual birth place’ on Monday 25 August, as Pete Goss opens the Newlyn Fish Festival and introduces Spirit of Mystery for her naming ceremony and blessing by the Mission to Seamen

* The Southampton Boat Show, Friday 12 September - Spirit of Mystery will be a star attraction at the Boat Show press day

The project is a useful tool for the Cornwall Playing for Success charity, of which Pete is a founding trustee. Not only will it raise awareness of the out of school hours education initiative, the children will also follow the adventure and therefore learn about local and social history, boat building, navigation and a host of other subjects as part of the ‘Sense of Place’ program.

Further details about Spirit of Mystery are on Pete’s website at

Ends - Dated 23/07/08