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Sailing pop star comes up short again

AUGUST 17 - Simon Le Bon, singer for the 1980s pop band Duran Duran, and the rest of the crew of the Arnold Clark Drum, were forced last week to pull out of the 2005 Rolex Fastnet Race.

Caught in light winds about 25 miles from Fastnet Rock, it became clear to the crew that they would be unable to cross the finish in time for Le Bon to join his band mates in Tokyo for a concert there on August 13, a news report says. The team motored the rest of the way, enjoying a champagne toast as they rounded the rock.

More than 280 yachts set off from Cowes on the Isle of Wight August 7 to participate in the biennial 608-mile race. Crews sailed their yachts into the English Channel along the southwest coast of England, around Fastnet Rock near Ireland and on to the finish in Plymouth, England.

In the 1985 Fastnet, Le Bon crewed aboard the Arnold Clark Drum (known then only as Drum) and escaped death when the keel fell off and the 77-foot boat capsized, trapping Le Bon and the rest of the crew inside the hull for about 40 minutes.

Failing for a second time to finish the race was reportedly disappointing for Le Bon, whose spokesperson says in a news report that the 46-year-old singer is looking forward to competing in future Fastnet races.

Jason Fell