YW's RIB pulls Full Pelt from the Brambles Bank after a keel failure leaves her aground during Cowes Week


Even the most modern technology is not always a match for the basics of physics. Stephen Fein provided a clear demonstration of that today when the impressive progress of his 36ft canting keelerFull Peltwas abruptly halted by Brambles Bank. But it wasn’t a simple case of dodgy navigation.

“The handle broke on the hydraulic pump so we couldn’t pump the keel up. We were having to drop the keel to leeward before each tack.” explainedFull Pelt’s designer Jo Richards. Mike Golding had to use the same ‘gravity dump’ method whenEcover’s keel pump failed on the Transat. “We weren’t quite laying the post so we had to put in two tacks. We dropped the keel and tacked over, but when we tacked back we didn’t quite allow ourselves enough time and when we dropped the keel down it hit the bottom.”Full Peltwas stuck, and with no means of swinging the keel up she wasn’t likely to get off by herself.

Fortunately Yachting World’s RIB was passing by at the time and went to investigate. After several failed attempts by another RIB to drag her off backwards, a line was passed fromFull Pelt’s stem to the YW RIB and the bow was pulled off. She rose up on her keel, flopped over and floated free.

Despite the precarious appearance of the grounded skiff it is unlikelyFull Peltsuffered any damage in the incident. “We’re going to pull it out now to take a look. It’s designed to run aground at ten knots so it should be alright.” said Richards confidently.