Repairs finished, pit stop over
Pete Goss and Paul Larsen are back in the Shetland two-handed Round Britain and Ireland yacht race after putting in for repairs. The massive lead the pair had built up slipped through their fingers as their trimaran Cornwall Playing for Success was having the main bulkhead modified and strengthened.
It was a real test for the trimaran as they sailed out into a cold, wet and windy night, meeting lumpy and confused seas off the Isle of Harris. The boat held up well with no sign of the earlier problems after the manufacturers made the modification, as Pete explains: ‘It was a lumpy and bumpy ride last night and the little SeaCart took a real pounding. But despite the conditions she is in great shape. It is incredibly frustrating that the modification to the bulkhead should have been done by the manufacturers before we set off. It has probably cost us the race, but we are determined to fight on and see what this little boat is capable of.’
Now making relatively slow progress in light and fickle airs, the team is looking forward to completing this leg, which sees them sailing around Muckle Flugga – the northernmost point in the UK – and into Lerwick in Shetland. They will then get an idea of just how far behind the leaders they are and how much their three-day delay has cost them.
As well as working on the boat, Pete and Paul made good use of their time on Barra, taking part in a dramatic rescue of a stricken yacht, which had run aground in Castlebay.
As near gale-force winds pounded the area, the all-weather RNLI lifeboat had been called out to help tow in another Round Britain competitor, ‘Knight’s Challenge’. When yet another competitor, the Sigma 36′ yacht ‘Ruffian’ was blown onto the rocks, Pete and Paul jumped onto the RNLI’s other boat, a rigid-inflatable (RIB) boarding vessel, and sped to their rescue, helping to attach a line so that she could be towed off by the all-weather lifeboat, which had by now raced to join in.
The RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Roderick Maclean, praised them for their assistance, saying that because of their help it had been just seven minutes from the time of the call to having the yacht pulled to safety. He said: “When I received the second call for assistance that day, Pete was standing right beside me and immediately offered his help. He is known to the crew as an exceptional seafarer and we thought he would be a real asset in the rescue. The crew were delighted and privileged to have him on board as a temporary volunteer crew member.”
An RNLI spokeswoman said: “Pete has now become even more of a hero in Barra than he was already.” You can follow the team’s adventures as they attempt to claw their way back into the race at www.petegoss.com.