Driver John Guille dives beneath rival team to cut rope from props
Gee, the oldest boat in the Round Britain Race, is inching closer to claiming an overall win in the Historic Class after beating all other boats in her class in today’s run from Inverness to Edinburgh.
It was an eventful day for the 40-year old boat. Her engineer, Nathan Ward, and driver, John Guille, were up until 4.30am this morning helping Team 747 – their main rival in the Historic Class – fix their shafts and props.
Later in the North Sea, Team 747 hit more trouble when they got rope caught round their props. Gee immediately stopped to offer assistance, and her driver Guille wasted no time in jumping into the cold North Sea to cut the rope free.
The overall winner of the leg was once again Wettpunkt.com, which covered the 131-mile leg in a little under three hours.
Tomorrow sees the teams tackle another tough North Sea leg from Edinburgh to Newcastle.
“Team 747 dinged their props and shafts on Wednesday when heading towards the Caledonian Canal, but managed to get new shafts and props all in 24 hours. They came to put it all in Yesreday evening, but the shafts would not line up for them. So they gave me a ring and myself and Nathan went down to give them a hand. Nathan found that their engine mounts were knackered, so we got them four new engine mounts from Cummins, and had to crane the engine out, swap the mounts over and put it all back in and realign the shafts. We finished up at 4.30 this morning. We were then up at about 6am.
The race finally started about 11am. Gee was going very well, although it was a little bit bumpy. Team 747 got in front, as they’ve got an hour and a half to catch up on us. We then happened upon them dead in the water. They had a lobster pot rope around a prop. Luckily we’ve got a diving suit on board and I jumped over the side. It was really easy to free the prop, but I got out of the water as soon as I could as it was bloody cold. Wish I’d bought my wetsuit now. Then we decided to go in convoy with 747 but the weather got worse. They headed inshore to get some shelter, but we stayed following our original course because it’s a long long leg and fuel capacity was a worry. We got into Edinburgh at about 5.30pm. I’m feeling it a little bit, and so is Nathan. It’s only a short trip to Newcastle tomorrow, which we start at around 10am.”