Le Bon to face yacht race demons

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Le Bon to face yacht race demons

Pop star Simon Le Bon has vowed to make waves and compete in a yacht race in which he almost died 20 years ago.

The 46-year-old Duran Duran singer will sail on Drum in the Rolex Fastnet Yacht race on 7 August - the same boat which capsized in 1985.

Le Bon made his announcement in Glasgow alongside local millionaire car dealer Sir Arnold Clark, who now owns Drum.

The star conceded he was being sentimental but said he wanted to finish the race.

Le Bon, who owned the 77-ft boat during the height of his 1980s pop career, cheated death when it capsized off the Falmouth coast after being caught up in bad weather in the 1985 Fastnet race.

The keel fell off, causing the boat to roll and trapping Le Bon under the hull.

'Fond of the boat'

Several members of the original crew will also sail with the pop star in the 2005 competition.

Speaking on the deck of Drum, Le Bon said: "We felt we ought to prove to ourselves that we could finish the race given a sound boat, which we've got now.

"It's a bit of sentimentalism really. We all have very fond feelings for the boat."

Recalling the day of the accident, he told how he had to dive under the boat to escape to the surface.

He added: "I remember being asleep, hearing a big bang, a bunch of sails and people falling on top of me and then there was a mad scramble."

The biennial Fastnet race, which will begin off Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, has attracted 250 entrants this year and is considered a tough test for crews who face complex tidal currents and changing weather conditions.

Le Bon saved a woman from Northern Ireland 18 years ago when he answered her Mayday call in the Atlantic Ocean.

He was on Drum with his wife off the coast of Venezuela when Karen McCracken's boat was blown onto a reef in a storm.

Article/Photo courtesy BBC