Sunday, March 11, 2007

Celebrity Yacht Race - Four is Two Too Many

There's drama on "Definitely Will Be". The entry by the Gallagher brothers in the Celebrity Yacht Race, from Monaco to Miami, is paying for its noble rescue of Jay Kay and Robbie as their boat sank after a storm in the Med.

Full story from our resident expert, Buff Staysail. Time to get a BS update:

Howdy Folks! Buff Staysail here, in Tenerife and in the buff! [Ed: too much info BS!]

Yes, it's no secret the crews of Definitely Will Be and Wild Boys had bad blood before they were forced into each others company in the confined space of an Open 60.

Who can forget the incident at the crew party? Now its not unknown for the on water rivalry of competitive world of yacht racing to spill over into personal vendetta's - look at the classic antagony between Mike Golding and Alex Thomson in the Velux 5 Oceans. But for them the experience of a sinking and dismasting has brought them together. It was not so for our hot-house of celebrities.

After Jay Kay and Robbie were rescued by Liam and Noel the pressure has been rising steadily. The Manchester boys were keen to keep on racing, and the rules are clear - the visitors from "Wild Boys" can't be involved in running the boat.

So they have had a chance to catch up on their sleep, do some sunbathing, and even a little fishing.

None of these have gone down well with the working crew, having to get up on watch in the middle of the night, struggling with sails, and not least of all, getting hungry as the food supplies had to be rationed.

Hence the fishing. And its meant to be good fishing waters: JP told me all sort of tall stories from the Arc and how they caught any number of doradas [Ed - all true!], and jolly good fresh from the sea.

Robbie really got into the fishing thing - said he found it relaxing to sit at the stern of the yacht, watching the line disappear into the rolling waves that relentlessly follow a boat crossing the Atlantic from the Canary Islands.

But he had real trouble landing them. The Gallaghers sneered that was 'cos he was a wimp, but in his defense its really hard to reel in when a boat is fully powered up. So Jay Kay argued that they should slow the boat down, which meant taking down the spinnaker.

Now of course that didn't go down well with the racing brothers. Words were exchanged and voices became raised.

Its hard to get a true account of what happened next, but the following is undeniable. Noel picked up a winch handle - weapon of choice on offshore races - and waved it at Robbie. He says it was only a warning, but Robbie says it only missed him by millimetres, so he jumped back and climbed over the cockpit to get to the foredeck and safety.

However Noel followed, waving the winch handle at him, only to trip over the downhawl, which crashed him down nose first, which was broken with blood all over the deck.

Meanwhile Liam and Jay Kay exchanged a couple of blows with no clear winner though Liam almost fell overboard and Jay Kay was almost banged his head on the boom!

Clearly this is a situation that is too explosive to survive the thousands of miles remaining to Miami.

The race organisers have stepped in and asked for volunteers to take the crew of "Wild Boys" and I'm glad to report that the ladies of "Re-invention", Madonna and Kylie, have spoken up, saying something about how they'd like a couple of wild boys around the boat.

They have changed course to rendezvous with "Definitely Will Be" (see chart above) and should exchange crew in the next 24 hours.

This is Buff Staysail, signing off.

No comments: