Drum beats too slowly for Le Bon
CALUM MACDONALD August 11 2005
SIMON Le Bon, the Duran Duran frontman, has been forced to withdraw from the Fastnet yacht race because his progress was so slow that he was in danger of missing a concert in Japan.
The singer, who was almost killed during the same race 20 years ago, was reunited with 20 members of his original crew at Cowes, Isle of Wight, last week to compete in the event.
During the 1985 Fastnet race his yacht, Drum, lost its keel and capsized in bad weather off the coast of Falmouth with some crew members trapped for 40 minutes.
He later sold the yacht to Sir Arnold Clark, the Scottish businessman, who renamed it Arnold Clark Drum.
He agreed to allow Le Bon to borrow it for this year's race.
However, Le Bon yesterday pulled out of the race, blaming "light winds" for the yacht's slow progress.
Duran Duran are due to play the first show of their Japanese tour on Saturday night and had Le Bon remained in the race he would have missed the concert.
The yacht was 25 miles from the Fastnet at 4.30pm yesterday in sea conditions described as "flat and calm". It was travelling at just two knots, prompting Le Bon to take the decision to retire.
A spokesman for the singer said: "Although light weather conditions have thwarted Drum's attempt to complete the Rolex Fastnet race, Simon and the crew remain in high spirits.
"They've really enjoyed the reunion and have succeeded in their mission to raise funds for the RNLI."
He added that Le Bon is now more determined than ever to complete the race in the future.
Courtesy The Herald
Pop singer abandons yachting race
Pop star Simon Le Bon has been forced to pull out of the sailing race in which he almost died 20 years ago.
The Duran Duran singer, 46, was reunited with all but one of the original crew to take part in the 2005 Rolex Fastnet Race.
He and other crew members were trapped under the capsized hull of his yacht, The Drum, during the race in 1985.
On Wednesday the yacht, the Arnold Clark Drum, was forced to retire from the race because of calm winds.
Le Bon was unable to continue because he had to fly to Japan on Thursday to begin a series of concerts for 60,000 fans in Tokyo.
The crew, which had set off from Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, decided to motor round Fastnet rock - the turning point in the 680-mile race - and return to Plymouth.
A spokesman for Le Bon said he was disappointed the singer had to pull out of the race but added he had a commitment to his fans that had to come first.
"Simon and the crew remain in high spirits," he added.
"They've really enjoyed the reunion and have succeeded in their mission to raise funds for the RNLI.
"They are now even more determined to compete and finish the Rolex Fastnet Race in the future."
The Arnold Clark Drum was competing against 280 other craft in the race.
Courtesy BBC NEWS