Showtime Keeps Watch… 30 Jun 2012
When Michael Bradley entered his Sun Odyssey 42 Showtime into the Triangle Race, advertised as a “Double Handed 620 Mile Challenge”, organised by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, he only expected the excitement of the race itself but that is not quite how it turned out…
The Triangle Race, as the name implies, consists of three legs, Torquay to Kinsale, 220 miles, Kinsale to Treguier, 275 miles and Treguier to Torquay, 110 miles. The first leg was raced in winds of Force 6, gusting 7, with rough seas and it was well into the race when Michael intercepted a ‘pan-pan’ message from Spirit of Saint George, another competitor, entered by Colonel Gary Deakin of the British Army Royal Logistic Corps.
Apparently, St George had lost her rudder and needed assistance. Showtime was only about half-a-mile away so Michael noted his position and turned on the engine. Without a rudder St George was in a unpleasant position in seas with twenty foot waves and was much comforted by the presence of Showtime who kept radio contact and stayed close whilst relaying their position via satphone to the Falmouth Coast Guard. This enabled Deakin and his crew Simon Hutchinson to clear up the mess and assess the situation.
An Irish fishing trawler arrived and managed to get a a tow-line on board and after holding their position for three hours, Michael, together with his crew, George Clark, left the scene, motored back to the position where they had ceased to race, turned off the engine and continued on their way to Kinsale.
They heard how the the incident was resolved when Michael received a letter of thanks from Gary Deakin. Apparently the tow-line was too difficult to maintain but the eventual rescue was completed by a Royal Navy vessel, HMS Severn, who helped them assemble and fit a make-shift rudder amidst much banter as the Navy arrived to get the Army out of trouble!
Five miles off Milford Haven, when the slow progress of St George in busy shipping lanes made her something of a hazard, the RNLI towed her into harbour where it was discovered that she was too badly damaged to continue the race.
Showtime, however, did complete the leg, and with redress for her part in the incident, finished in a respectable fourth place overall in Class Two. The letter of thanks from the two army officers on NATO-headed note paper, will certainly be something to treasure.