October has brought the sad news that Challenge Business has entered receivership with (according to Yachting World) £9m worth of debts.
There have been rumours all year of the company being in trouble, but it was still a shock to hear that the company behind the Global Challenge has hit the rocks. They and their charasmatic leader Sir Chay Blythe have been a fixture of the sailing circuit, their signature steel cutters familiar sights not just in the Solent but around the world from Cape Town to Sydney.
I had a great time sailing one of the Challenge 67s around the Canary Islands a few years ago (above) watching dolphins and eating bread dipped in the local sauce, Mojo. I hoped one day to go again, maybe a trip to the far north to Spitsbergen or even a Round Britain.
Its clearly tough being a sailing company - last year's casualties including Girls for Sail and Formula 1. Fingers crossed that restructuring can quickly bring back Sir Chay and his boats back on the water.