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the catamaran during its next sea trials in December and when a 10 metre wave smashed the steering mechanism in the middle of the Atlantic, it left the yacht and its crew at the mercy of the waves. Mr Goss put out a mayday. The crew were picked up by a German tanker and the multimillion pound boat was left to the elements. Pete Goss was praised for his seamanship in bringing the yacht towards the tanker and bringing her head to wind to stop her, allowing a line to be thrown to the yacht. “The decision is always based on life, not on the boat,” he said later at a press conference, “I felt the risks were too high for the crew to take.”


The failure was a huge blow for the South Hams, which had taken the project to its heart. Less than a year later the two main companies owned and run by Goss went bankrupt, with the loss of forty jobs.


Goss himself had taken a huge beating in the press over the failure of the project. He seemed a broken man, the former Royal Marine and sailing hero famed for his skill and bravery, was forced to defend himself against huge criticism in numerous press conferences. He backed a bid to row the Atlantic and was mocked by journalists for backing ‘another Titanic-like disaster’. But he did, eventually come through. He took nearly eight years to bounce back fully, launch- ing the Cornish Lugger Spirit of Mystery and sailed to Australia without any electronic aids.•


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