Above: Richard Branson pops champagne on the Necker Island beach
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Sir Ben Ainslie, one of the world’s greatest sailors was sailing past Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands when his boat encountered a mechanical problem.
The main sail’s furling system had broken, becoming “so twisted that it couldn’t go up, down, in or out,” Branson recounted on a post on Virgin.com.
Luckily, three members of Branson’s watersports team rushed to aid Ainsley, who was sailing with his new wife Georgie Thompson on their honeymoon.
“The only way to avoid going onto the reefs was for Marco to go to the top to cut the sail to pieces, whilst George and Ben were winching Marco up and down and Georgie was helping in the boat,” Branson said. “Unsurprisingly, Ben kept an amazingly cool head whilst directing operations – he just needed more hands to sort out the mess.”
Without the help, the boat could have wrecked.
“Together, the team helped to stop the boat from wrecking on the Moskito reef. With no harm done, Ben was able to see the funny side – after all, stranger things have happened at sea,” Branson said.
Branson is now hosting Ainslie and Thompson on the island for a few days.