Basil Panakis
Thu 10 Jul 2014 12:49
        47:25N 09:07W
Soon we should be passing north of Odas Brittany. Yesterday I was planning for south of it. The wind backed up quite considerably. I am glad we are doing it at day time and don't have to be around in case there is a wind change and we mount it. That would have been something. Which reminded me the incident in the Channel some years back. It was one of the RORC qualifying races that included a leg of rounding EC1 or EC2 buoy in the middle of the night. I went around OK I saw a few more lights around, it could have anybody. After a while I hear one of the Britannia boats calling for help. It was Richard Besse saying that one of the other Britannia boats gave him a glancing blow and suffered some damage. The other boat did not stop probably thinking it was not such a big thing as a T boning. I asked for the extend of the damage and what did he want me to do. Apparently the hole was big enough to put the spinnaker bag through it. They ripped the heads out, put the storm jib on the outside to stop most of the flow of water and started bailing. So I waited around in case they needed evacuation. After a while Richard came back that everything was fine and I should carry on.
I must have gone off watch because I did not hear any subsequent calls to me or anybody else. Nobody on watch informed me of anything. Later I found out that Richard called the RNLI which escorted him to Gosport together with the SAR helicopter in attendance. A gin palace skipper approached Richard and told him, sorry guy but do you know that you are dragging some sails and ropes over your side?
Richard at the time was working for Kelvin Hughes by Ocean Village, later together with Charlie left KH and set up Ocean Safety Company. Both are my dearest friends and over the years have been most helpful with the preparation of JABA.