Thursday, July 24, 2014

Buff's America's Cup Adventure: Catching our yacht

It was quite a hike out there and it was then that something odd struck me. Why had they asked for me to bring an overnight bag on an ice cream delivery trip?

Maybe there'd been a change of plans, I thought. But it wouldn't be the end of the world to be back in my snug room that night, sending out emails, selling my photos and story to the world.

On the horizon I could see that wing, taller than a jumbo jet is wide, a sun bright dagger cutting the sky, powering Luna Rossa quicker than even a speed boat could travel, and if rumours were true they'd make it go even faster. As we approached I could see her head up to wind and furl that headsail, luffing up to a halt just by their support RIB. It was time to get the trusty old SLR out.

“Well done Buff” said Rachel, approvingly.

It was good to be appreciated, noticed even, as the others had been rather quiet on the way out, not responding to Buff’s gentle ribbing.

“Port side” said the big man, and the others lined up, a long row of Prada t-shirts, and Rachel handed each of them two ice creams, a selection of Magnums if I remember right, which they waved at the approaching yacht.

“Ice creams!” they screamed. “Sponsor refreshments!”

“Nice one” said one of the sailors, covered in sweat, for we were close enough for me to capture shots of the drops trickling - no, flowing - down his face.

“Cracking good idea” said another.

The skipper, not Francesco, but someone I didn’t recognise, did mutter something about no one telling him, but that was it. We were universally welcomed, which made the surprise all the greater when the big man leaped on-board and stuck a gun to the skipper’s head.

“No one move” he commanded. “And no one use a radio!”

To  be continued....

(or you can read part 5 here)

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