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Old 16 September 2002, 12:39   #1
John Kennett's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Brighton
Length: 3m +
Join Date: May 2000
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Spirit of Cardiff finally runs out of luck



Throughout her 23,000 mile voyage around the world, Sprit of Cardiff's crew met with many huge problems, and every time they came up fighting. Even after crewmate Steve Lloyd suffered a heart attack in July, five days from the finish, Alan Priddy and Clive Tully were determined to come back to Newfoundland and finish the job.

But this time, luck has finally run out. When Alan Priddy, Clive Tully and Jan Falkowski arrived at St Johns harbour on Sunday morning, ready to take Spirit out across the Atlantic, they found the dive platform at the back of the boat submerged and the engine compartment full of water, the bilge pumps unable to cope with the level of flooding.

It seems a crack may have developed in the hull, possibly weakened by sitting out of the water on blocks during the high winds of Hurricane Gustav. Only after the boat was fully laden with fuel on the Saturday did she start taking on water. Had Spirit of Cardiff been a conventional powerboat without the inflatable tube, she would have sunk at her mooring. The alternator which charges the boat's batteries was wrecked, but worst of all was the damage wrought to everything in the boat.

Whilst the city of St Johns prides itself on its cleanliness, the harbour suffers from a major ongoing pollution problem, with raw sewage being discharged directly into the water. Sea water tainted with effluent has ruined all the carpets and soft furnishings in the boat along with everything that was stored below deck, including survival suits, life jackets, sea anchor, life raft, and many other peripheral items of equipment which would cost thousands of pounds to replace.

Waste disposal experts have pumped out most of the boat's fuel - about 1,000 worth of diesel - so she is floating high in the water to prevent further leakage, and a new alternator is being fitted. Unfortunately, even if it were possible to repair the hull and replace the survival equipment, the narrow weather window between Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hannah has been lost. Spirit will make the short journey back to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club for storage, and the crew will be looking to fly home in the next day or so. The boat's ultimate fate is uncertain at this stage. Needless to say, Alan, Clive and Jan are devastated at the turn of events.
"We've been hit by so many problems," said Spirit of Cardiff skipper Alan Priddy, "but even after Steve's heart attack, we were looking to finish the trip and come back with the under 50 ft class record for circumnavigating the world. This time it really is over. We are all feeling very low."


My heart goes out to all the crew, particularly to Alan and Clive who managed to drag themselves back out to St John's to finish what has been a particularly gruelling experience. For it to end like this is really, really sad.


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Old 16 September 2002, 12:52   #2
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Highlands
Boat name: Quicksilver
Make: Quicksilver
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mariner 15hp
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,771

Well, what can we say? AP must feel that he is being pounded into the ground.

Anyway if he wants a ride in another boat he's always welcome in Quicksilver

Do you know if there will be a video or book of this epic attempt? If so I'll order mine now.

Keith (sharing the disapointment) Hart

Small boat - BIG truck
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Old 16 September 2002, 13:28   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: Devon
Boat name: White Ice
Make: Ranieri
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki 115hp
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 5,015
Terrible news.

I can't really add to John & Keith's expressions of regret to how the expedition has ended. When Alan posted the invitation "to get a transatlantic under the belt" earlier, my finger hovered over the reply button...

I'm sure that there WILL be another chapter to be written?
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Old 16 September 2002, 14:07   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Great Harwood, Lancs
Boat name: Tigger II
Make: Bombardier Aerodeck
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu 25HP
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 626
We should all look at what has been acheived.

Many thought that round the world in such a small boat was mad, well you prove then all wrong and dispite many problems still acheave so much.

You have all done more than many people can dream of and deserve all the credit for that.

While you must be very dissapointed, us all with you, think about how far you did get, what you have done and what you have acheived.

Well done, all of you and keep smiling, there will always be another time.

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Old 16 September 2002, 14:12   #5
Country: UK - England
Town: Southampton
Make: Camel
Length: 6.5
Engine: Honda 130
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 46
Very sorry to hear the bad news guys, Truly

The boat is called the Spirit of Cardiff-----Cardiff is the No 1. Welsh city.....and as any Welsh person knows....................... You never beat the Welsh, but sometimes you score more points

What this means is having an indominatable spirit and not giving up

This truly wasn't deserved and we are again saddened by SOC's luck Having personally put in a few days of effort to see this project through, trying to get money out of the tight wads (visitors) at Ribex . and just for the record we didn't expect any thanks, we just wanted to support the venture and still do.

We don't have the articulation of some of the people writing on this Forum, so we'll keep the message simple.

We are delighted that Steve is alive and recovering
We are still in awe of the people who attemted this project
We are would like to see the project completed, if possible

If the project can continue, be it next week or next year we must remember that these Guys are virtually mariners in distress and are therefore entitled to our help?

So what we can do

If 20 of us volunteer some of our time and resources then maybe we can soften the blow.

e.g. twenty begging letters to a survival suit company might get some free clobber at least for the trip. Is anybody buddies with the boss of Ocean Safety. What good copy they could get out of bringing the waters most troubled project home safely.

By the way when you consider the scale of the project, the weather they have seen, the miles they have done, It's still an amazing achievement

Does anybody have a good contact in an Oil company?

Does anybody know an electronics company that would help

Get the picture, we are a community and one of ours is in trouble
so what are we going to do about it.

We might not be on Spirit but we are certainly there in Spirit

nuff said
Stuart and Britt
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Old 16 September 2002, 14:31   #6
Country: Ireland
Town: Dublin
Boat name: WIZARD
Make: REDBAY 7.4
Length: 7m +
Engine: OPTI 225
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 417
So sorry to hear the bad news, I am going to make another credit card donation to help out Allen and the boys,

They have put Ribs on the map, as serious offshore boats, even full of water SOC didnt sink!!!

If Allen post a list of what he needs, I am sure we can Give or Lend Him the Equipment to Get SOC all the way round??

They just might need the money!, and the cost to us of one tank full of fuel each is not much, But combined it Will help, I'm sure.
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Old 16 September 2002, 15:56   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Bromley, Kent
Make: GS209
Length: 6.137
Engine: 4.3ltr 210hp Volvo Penta
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 231
I don't know a lot about boats, but I have been very, very impressed by the friendship and knowledge on this forum in the couple of days I have used it. I don't believe anything is impossible, it is just a matter of time, money and knowledge. From what I have seen these guys have been through a lot, they need to know that everyone here is backing them as best they can. Perhaps we could throw in ideas if we knew a bit more about the problem. A problem shared is a problem halved. We should let them know that between us we could perhaps pull a miracle out of the bag. Just give us the task and lets get to it.

'When the going gets tough, the tough get going'


P.S. I'm up for donating a few gallons of fuel, just for the friendship I have been shown on this site.
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Old 17 September 2002, 04:35   #8
Country: Canada
Town: Newfoundland
Length: no boat
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Posts: 2,099
Sad that it ends this way

Alan and Co must be absolutely gutted. I can't think of anything else that could go wrong apart from the obvious of the boat sinking at sea. I guess the silver lining to this particular cloud is that at least it happened in harbour and the crew are safe and well.

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Old 17 September 2002, 06:15   #9
Country: UK - England
Town: Sevenoaks
Make: Avon
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp Mariner
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 79
Send a message via AIM to Andy.R
Gob-smacked is all I can say. Bad luck guys.
I agree with the sentiments above that at least they were not mid-Atlantic.
I am sure Alan will read this forum at some point, so I would also like to add myself to the list of people willing to help if we can.
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Old 17 September 2002, 06:45   #10
Country: UK - England
Town: Margate / Ramsgate
Boat name: Bumbl
Make: Scorpion
Length: 8m +
Engine: Yanmar diesel
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,837
As everyone else has said, we feel for your misfortune Alan and crew, anything we can do just shout!
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Old 17 September 2002, 06:46   #11
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Dreadful news......!
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Old 17 September 2002, 16:59   #12
Country: UK
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 13
terrible news - poor SOC
I'll be wearing my t-shirt in bed tonight in memory of this amazing and courageous boat.
Hope you are all right Alan and get back home safely
Best wishes
Shara and Bear

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