X-Boat swimmer

Poole-based yachtswoman thrown out of boat

Monday August 6th 2001, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

One yachtswoman sailing in the X-Boat fleet had a nasty shock when she ended up in the drink near Gurnard Ledge this afternoon.

Katarina Prentice was sailing her X-Boat Jinx with her two brothers Angus and Gavin and took their start at 1235.

"We were going down to the first mark at Gurnard Ledge. The conditions were atrocious," she recounted. On one tack there was a horrible sound as the mast broke in three. "It split midway up and at the top, which was odd as we dismasted two years ago and it was a relatively new mast.

"The force of the split catapulted me overboard," Prentice told madforsailing. She was in the water for five minute before she was recovered by a passing RIB. With her own boat disabled, several of the boats in the X-Boat fleet tried to recover her, but we were unable to do so in the severe wind against tide conditions. "There was no way they could have helped," she said. Fortunately Prentice was wearing a lifejacket. "I only asked my brother the day before about the lifejacket - if I had to pull the toggle or if it inflated straight away. Fortunately it's not one of the auto-inflate types because these boats are just so wet!"

With her aboard, the RIB towed their boat back to Lallows where they are currently having a new mast fitted. "We hope to be racing tomorrow."

Prentice is an author. Her book Jump-Start Your Life will be published by Random House at the beginning of next year.

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