Herald Express editor Brendan Hanrahan expresses West Country support for Team Philips with a message for Pete Goss and his crew.
Not so many days ago, a couple walked towards Team Philips in Dartmouth and saw a man happily sitting and working on the quayside. As they neared, he turned and said: “Hello, good to see you, are you local?”. They had travelled from Torquay and told him the boat was amazing. The seated man was Pete Goss. This anecdote encapsulates why South Devon has taken this man and his dream to their hearts and minds. His humility and downright ordinariness are one of the very few treasures and wonders of the modern world.
It is almost as if he’s challenging us to acknowledge: I gave up a race and single-handed, after performing surgery on myself, turned back into a hurricane and rescued a fellow sailor who had given himself up to God. Well, wouldn’t you?
Yesterday, was one of his saddest moments. Yet, when the bows of his carefully constructed and adored craft started to crack about him, what made him feel like crying first? His reputation? The sponsors’ views? Giving up? Potential worldwide ridicule? No. His first thoughts were for the people who had paid a paltry sum for the privilege of having their names printed on the fractured hull of his catamaran.
This is why most men, women and children in South Devon will forever have a special place in their hearts and souls for Pete Goss. Their reaction, as detailed in our reports today, is what Pete and his crew should remember. Not the sniping, spineless, told-you-so poisonous pessimism of people whose bravery extends to propping up a bar and boring for England on a subject and experience they know nothing about.
Our message to Pete, his crew and everyone involved in the Goss Challenge is this:
You’ve had a serious setback, but at the right time. We share your absolute confidence in learning from what went wrong and rebuilding our beautiful boat so she can win The Race. It’s a pity we can’t beat the round-the-world-record on schedule. So what? Win The Race, then have, say, a week off and then beat the record in 2001. Just as 50,000 cheered you off, thousands will welcome you home soon and then cheer you off again, rebuilt, rejuvenated and re-inspired.
We’ve said it before. We’ll say it again. Godspeed Pete Goss. We are with you all the way.
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