Chas from Tas book launch a success

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  • By Stacey French
  • 23 Dec 2015 11:30:00
Image:
Di Pearson

David Kellett, Chas, Juliet, Sir Robin and Harold Cudmore

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The legendary ‘Chas from Tas’ successfully launched his book, titled ‘The Adventures of Chas from Tas’ in the Rolex Race Village at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this week.

Special guests included Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (he wrote one of two forewords) and famous Irish yachtsman Harold Cudmore, who happened to be in town and stopped by especially to see his old mate enjoy the moment after years of putting all his words into print. “I wouldn’t have missed it for anything,” said Cudmore, before launching into a couple of Chas stories.

David Kellett was MC for the night and opened with a few Chas stories of his own, followed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who related how the two met, adding: “Who else do you know who asks two people to write a book foreword? He was referring to that other Knight of the realm, our own Sir James Hardy, who sent his apologies – along with a Chas anecdote of his own.

Juliet Prentice, who co-wrote the book with Chas, was praised for her patience. “She should get a gold medal for all she has had to put up with and for keeping him on the straight and narrow,” one guest remarked.

Prentice, an Englishwoman who has called Australia home for years, is the daughter of John Prentice who owned the famous yacht Battle Cry, and hence the connection with Chas, otherwise known as Charles Blundell. Prentice kept all entertained as she told of their background and all the hours spent keeping Chas focussed, while she researched and wrote.

Chas then related some snippets of tales from his book and said second book was on the way. All looked at Juliet ‘Fruity’ Prentice with compassion.

Any yachtie worth his and her salt, knows, or knows of, Chas from Tas, and of course everyone has their own ‘Chas’ tale to tell – adding to the occasion, at the cocktail party held in his honour to celebrate the book. It was suggested a third book could be written by all those with their own Chas yarns.

‘The Adventures of Chas from Tas’ which chronicles his life between 1969 and the early eighties took around 20 years of talking and around seven years to write. Those who had already purchased the book said it was a “must read”.  Over 50 books were sold on the night and lots more have been ordered. 

Chas, born in Devon (UK) before immigrating to Tasmania with his family, went to school in Hobart, where he learned an appreciation for the sea. A fascinating life on the water for  over 40 years, working across ocean mining, exploration vessels, submarines, delivering yachts and racing them worldwide, is reflected in his weather-beaten face.

With over 500,000 nautical miles under his belt, Chas has some fabulous yarns to tell; encounters with pirates, his numerous Sydney Hobarts, Admiral’s and Kenwood Cups and more. Most famously, Chas was aboard Drum, owned by Duran Duran front man, Simon Le Bon, when it lost its keel and capsized in horrendous weather during the 1985 Fastnet Race.

Di Pearson, CYCA media

David Kellett, Chas, Juliet and Sir Robin Image: Di Pearson

David Kellett, Chas, Juliet and Sir Robin

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