Seventeen yachts accepted the challenge and turned up at HMS Vernon, a Portsmouth naval base, in the autumn of 1973. This early version of the modern race village was just an encampment of pay phones, sailmakers' tents and caravans selling yacht gear. The boats were loaded with fresh food, wine, real bunks and dining tables. They were mostly privately owned or entered by the armed services, and the crews were largely amateur. Setting a trend, some were more ready than others. Burton Cutter was still being built as she crossed the start line. Fourteen boats finished, but three men died: Paul Waterhouse went overboard from Tauranga, Dominique Guillet from 33 Export, and Bernie Hosking from Chay Blyth's Great Britain II. Questions were asked: was this sport? But, at the prize-giving, the organisers announced that the race would be run again in four years' time.