Team Philips sunk again
Skipper Pete Goss and the crew of the Radical Catamaran, Team Philips
Credit: Mark Pepper
by Andy McKenzie
Pete Goss suffered further disappointment, as the launch of Team Philips had
to be called off at the last minute due to adverse weather conditions on February 29.
- The British team had been optimistic that they would finally see the 120ft long craft hit the water for the first
time, until nature intervened.
- There was also frustration for the 20,000 spectators who turned up from the early hours of the morning in the hope
of witnessing the worlds largest racing catamaran take to the sea.
- The wind had calmed down enough for the boat to be attached to the 225 tonne crane. But fast running flood waters
on the River Dart in Devon, England left the team with no option but to call off the launch.
- "I know what it feels to be an astronaut," said Goss. "I feel like a space shuttle pilot told that
the launch has been put on hold a matter of seconds before lift off."
- Goss immediately invited the supporters into the build site at Baltic Wharf to see the boat up close.
- "I feel for everyone who showed their faith in us by turning up," he added. "I share their
disappointment, but this whole project has been about safety and seamanship.
- "It would have been foolish to force the launch ahead when conditions were not right. It is just not worth
throwing away five-and-a-half years of hard work in one afternoon."
- The team will try again at the next possible opportunity, after flood waters have had a chance to run their course.
Although it is too early to say, March 5 looks like being the next scheduled launch date.
- The postponement is the latest in a list of setbacks for Goss and his team. They have already had to refine their
original launch plans because the 135ft masts needed an extra weeks work.