Capsize story in full

As promised, here are the full accounts of the two British powerboaters who escaped a 138mph capsize...

British Class 1 team Chris Parsonage and James Sheppard escaped with their lives after a capsize at 138mph in the British Grand Prix.

The dramatic on-board camera footage is pictured in MBY October, page 14.

Chris’ boat, King of Shaves, is undergoing a £100,000 rebuild and the two hope to be on the start line for the remaining Class 1 races, starting in Dubai in November.

As promised, here are their full accounts of the moments when several thousand spectators on Plymouth Hoe held their breath…

Throttleman Chris: “We came into the corner at about 146mph and I slowed the boat up because I knew Steve Curtis was in there somewhere. I backed off to about 135mph and we could see the other two boats but we could see Spirit of Norway had thrown up more of a wake than normal.

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“We just got on top of it. It took the boat sideways. Once I was looking at Drake’s Island I knew we were going to go! I was thinking ‘shut the throttles down so the water doesn’t blow them’.

“I was a bit bruised on my arms and my foot crashed on the dashboard but it’s bruised pride more than anything else.

“The good thing was the training we do at Andark (diving centre) is virtually exactly what happened in the boat.”

Driver James: “On the footage it looks like it happened quickly but in the boat it felt like a lifetime.

“We were starting to eat into Victory 77’s lead but as we came round a mark were suddenly presented with Steve Curtis in Spirit of Norway running slow due to a broken prop and Victory 77 taking evasive action.

“We’re going like the clappers with the boat on the edge of the performance envelope.

“We ended up hitting the join of the two wakes, with the boat skidding sideways at 138mph. Curtains.

“I remember this pressure building up on the right-hand side of the seat and then it was like a hard slap and the noise of all the water rushing in.

“I figured we must have gone over more than once and we might be right way up. It was just a case of grabbing my air.

“Things became clearer, but it was incredibly dark. Later I realised this was because I still had my sunglasses on!

“I thought: ‘I’ve been in here for ages now’, but in fact it had been about two seconds. I had no idea what state Chris was in. I reached over and found his hand and could feel he was ready to get out.

“I went for the hatch and Chris followed.

“When I came up it was carnage, bits of the boat coming up from the sea – panels, glass fibre, the side of the boat was hanging off. Chris popped up right next to me and smiled, then I knew he was alright.

“There was a diver next to me very quickly. I was trying to get my breath back and thinking about the fact that seconds earlier we’d been lying second in the race.

I got a few bumps but no worse than a game of rugby.

“The fact is we were pushing hard to chase a boat matched on speed, in his dirty water. We knew the boat was being run very fast.

“It hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for it and the training we had at Andark was excellent, the only surprise was how quickly the cockpit filled up with water.”

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