Saturday, March 07, 2009

Top Yacht Challenges: The Rules

Credits, Top Yacht intro music

INT: Top Yacht studio, usual three presenters, studio audience, various boats hanging behind etc

Clarkson: Good evening, and welcome to a very special Top Yacht!

For many years we've wondered why more people don't following sailing races.....

Hammond: Like for example those crowds that support for Touring Car races.

Clarkson: ... so we wondered what it could be and the answer seemed simple. The rules are too complicated.

May (waving rule book around): And these two adrenalin junkies might for once have a point - I mean look at all this (reads from book) "Giving room".... "Overlapped at the zone"...."Not overlapped at the zone". Could anyone on shore or on their sofa give a monkey's BEEB about all that?

Clarkson: So we thought, lets make it simple and have just three rules: 1) You have to sail the course i.e. no engines 2) If you cross the line before the gun starts you have to heave to until someone climbs the mast and 3) ........ no can't remember the third

May: And 3) you have to wear safety gear.

Clarkson: Bla bla bla! Anyway, we thought we'd try out these new rules and so got ourselves each a J101 with some professional crew, made a couple of suitable modifications, put on our crash helmets and went out to the Solent.

Hammond: And this is what happens if you try and make sailing more like Touring Car racing.......

EXT: Solent, shot of three boats manoevering around a start line. Clarkson, Hammond and May are each onboard a J101.

Hammod: Right, so this is the start, so remember there are NO rules except get round the course, and what we are trying to do is push Jeremy across the line. Literally.

Two J101's are heading to windward just the right side of the line. The leeward one heads up, colliding with the windward one. There is a great screatching sound, and the big mark along its the windward boats and it is pushed over the line.

Clarkson: That little toe-rag: have you seen what he's done to our boat?

A gun goes off.

Clarkson: That's it we're off! What?

Voice out of shot: We were across the line!

Clarkson: No!

Hammond: (laughing)

Clarkson: So we've heaved too and the skipper has selected the lightest to go up the mast - thank God I eat lots of pies.

He grabs his belly: Look at that, no one's going to haul me up the mast.

Hammond: Right one down, now lets get May.

May: While those two were messing about - as usual - we just sailed off nice and steady

Leaving Clarkson's J101 heaved too as one of the crew is winched skywards, Hammond and May's J101's head off to windward.

May: So we're still ahead of Hammond. Soon we're going to tack: doesn't matter about port and starboard but being ahead does.

Hammond: right, we've got overlap: now this is important! Not of course because of the rules (yawn) but because we can get him if he tries to tack across us.

May (loudly): Hammond: we've got to tack - its shoal water over here!

Hammond: Can't hear you!

May (more loudly): Hammond: we really have to tack right now.

Hammond: Just you try!

May's J101 tries to tack, but the bow of Hammond's boat pushes his boat's head back: for a moment it is in irons, then, as Hammond's boat pushes further, it returns on the old tack. Mean while Hammond tacks.

May: Hammond!!!

May's J101 judders to a grinding halt and the mast snaps in two.

May: Oh Sea-Cock!!


Clarkson: While those two have been distracted, we've done our penalty mast climb and are about to grab the lead. I can see the top mark coming up now.

Hammond: That's what he thinks. Actually we're still just slightly ahead!

The two J101's approach the mark from opposite tacks: it is very very close.

Clarkson: Right Hamster, this is where we unleash our secret weapon. You know how J101's have that bowsprity thing out the front? Well we've made some modifications.....

The two boats get closer together, then it can be seen they are on collision course.

Hammond: Get out of the way Clarkson!!

Clarkson: Right: brace for impact, tighten up the back-stays, be ready to take the tension off the main.

There is a huge crash as Clarkson's J101 rams Hammonds midships.

Hammond: What have you done?

Voice off camera: There's water coming in!!

Clarkson: Oh yes, we moved the bowsprit till it was under the water, strengthened it, then sharpened it. Oh yes, we're a J101 with a battering ram!

Clarkson's J101 turns around the mark and hoists their asymmetric.

Hammond: I'm not having that.

Hammond reaches for the flare box and launches a rocket flare into Clarkson's asymmetric. It goes up in flames, followed by the main.

Clarkson: Abandon ship!

Hammond: Abandon ship!

As one J101 burns away and another gradually sinks we see the RNLB lifeboat rushing to rescue them.

Voice over (Clarkson): So there you have it: the new Top Yacht rules results in one dismasting, one sinking and one J101 burnt to the water line.

As all too often we were ambitous but unsuccessful.


Greg and Kris said...

Have you shopped this script? It might work.

JP said...

I think I'd get done for rather obviously ripping off the top gear format.

However have already thought up many more top yacht scenes (watch this space) so maybe someone should try to put something together.

If Clarkson, Hammond and May want to diversify into nautical adventures please let me know :)

Smilicus said...

Looks like you had a lot of time this weekend. No sailing?

Great Top Yacht episode. Jeremy must get himself some torpedoes too.


JP said...

As you will soon find out, I am a bit of a fair weather sailor and the weather isn't fair at this time of year.

Anyhow still fighting this lurgy :(

More Top Yacht to come....