Le Bon's return to Fastnet race
Pop star Simon Le Bon is competing at the Cowes Regatta in a yacht race in which he almost died 20 years ago.
The 46-year-old Duran Duran singer is sailing on Drum in the Fastnet yacht race on Sunday, the same boat which capsized in bad weather in 1985.
Le Bon was trapped under the hull when the keel fell off and his 77ft boat rolled over, near Falmouth in Cornwall.
Some of the singer's original crewmates are joining him to compete against 280 other yachts in the biennial race.
Le Bon was asleep at the time of the 1985 accident, waking up to find the boat had turned over.
He was trapped in its hull for 40 minutes with other members of the crew, until they were rescued by the RNLI.
The pop star later sold the yacht, but it is being lent back to him this year by its current owner, Scottish businessman Sir Arnold Clark.
Le Bon said: "I'm not afraid but I do think when we pass the point where the keel fell off we will feel a bump inside us and feel vindicated about doing the whole thing again.
"For us that race and accident is one of the most important things to happen to us in our whole lives."
On Friday, the singer was reunited with RNLI coxswain Vivian Pentecost, who helped rescue him in 1985.
Mr Pentecost, 74, from Falmouth, who retired 17 years ago, said: "I think he is doing the right thing by taking part again because you have to drive on or you lose the nerve.
He added: "This is what the RNLI is there for, saving lives at sea no matter whether they are famous or whatever their nationality."
The biennial Rolex Fastnet Race pits sailors against tricky currents and changeable weather conditions on its 608-mile (1,094km) course.
Competing yachts set off from Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Sunday and head into the Channel and along the south-west coast.
Courtesy BBC News
LE BON VOYAGE
Aug 6 2005
SIMON Le Bon will tomorrow set sail on the yacht that almost killed him.
The Duran Duran singer and 23 crewmates were rescued from Drum after it capsized during the Fastnet Race.
They will compete in Fastnet again to raise funds for the RNLI - who saved them in gale force winds 20 years ago.
Le Bon, 44, who owned the boat at the time of the accident, said: 'This is nothing as cliched as unfinished business.
'It is more about getting a group of old friends together after years apart. For us, the accident was one of the most important things which happened in our lives.'
The boat has been borrowed for the race from current owner, car dealer Sir Arnold Clark
Courtesy Daily Record