Zora ( CO313 ) is one of the earliest boats and I think she was built in 1971. In 1989, my then wife and I bought her and cruised and raced her regularly on the Essex coast with our young children.
In 1995 we sold her. Our children were growing and we needed something bigger. In 1996 I got a post card from the Caribbean confirming she had safely arrived there and that was the last I knew. For the following years we cruised and raced with our children and wherever we went I always wondered if I would see Zora tucked up safely in some marina, but alas nothing !
Then in 2012 my daughter and I were sitting in our local yacht club bar and I was going on to my friends about the beauty of Contessa 32's, when my daughter opened a web page of an advert for a very elderly, worn out Contessa that had just completed a ten year cruise from the Caribbean to the east of the Mediterranean. She was sitting ashore in North Wales, and immediately I recognized her.
Well the rest as they say is history and I brought Zora back to Essex by road at the earliest possibility. In December 2012 I started work and just about re fitted every inch of her from bow to stern.
In 2013 I finally had her craned back into the River Crouch in Essex and put her back on the same mooring she had left 18 years earlier !
She wont be leaving our family again - I have 2 sons who also love here and would never let me part with her.