Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
That's quite a story, FC. It's quite sad for a classic boat like that to end up in the hands of someone likely to destroy it. It's also sad when someone rich enough to afford these things is too dissipated to treat them responsibly.
Do you have any details about the previous history of the boat?
There is very little more for me to add. I was told that the owner prior to Roberta purchased The Constellation specifically for the TransPac because the boat had a proven racing history. However, with me being primarily an occasional day sailor before and after that episode I really come up short of knowledge. My primitive Internet search skills don't seem to disclose much worth mentioning.
Oh, I did find the previous owner's name in an archived blurb from the Los Angeles Times
. That mostly confirms the suicide story I mentioned in my original post. From that Times
article:"The latter category includes a story of wealthy Beverly Hills socialite Sally Blair Ames, who bought Constellation in 1959, pronounced to the press: "People think I'm a bitch with a big boat, but the hell with them," and proceeded to finish first in her division. Soon thereafter, at 33, Ames died of an overdose of sleeping pills.
Roberta's son supposedly went to jail for some drug-related crime in the Marquesas. His girlfriend went back to California while he was jailed in the Marquesas. Shortly after she arrived back here, she drowned in a hotel bathtub during a seizure. Roberta's reports in the La Jolla Light
mentioned none of problems. It was as if the voyage was without incident.
I saw the boat at anchor in Harbor Island Marina here in San Diego after Roberta finally returned. I just wasn't interested in getting close. I'm sure the boat must be in better hands these days. At least I hope so. The Catalina run was my only sail that was even close to open ocean sailing. Everything else before or since has been within seven or eight miles of some coast or another.