‘Captain Calamity’ capsizes new boat on maiden voyage


A bungling sailor dubbed ‘Captain Calamity’ who wrecked his catamaran while attempting to SURF Britain’s biggest wave has capsized his new vessel – on its maiden voyage.

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Hapless Glenn Crawley, 55, flipped his previous catamaran ‘Mischief’ 13 TIMES, costing the RNLI over £30,000 in rescues.

His seafaring antics looked to be dead in the water last year when he crashed his boat attempting to ride the giant Cribbar wave – known as the ‘Widow Maker’ – at Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall.

But last week he took to the water in a brand new £1,500 catamaran – which he promptly capsized, causing a concerned beach walker to call the RNLI.

Luckily, the rescue attempt was called off at the last minute when the hapless helmsman managed to flip his boat back upright.

But Glenn is unrepentant about his latest escapade and has vowed to continue his hobby until he manages to ride the Cribbar.

He said: “The problem is some well-intentioned person makes the call but doesn’t know what’s going on and I’m actually fine.

“I can right the boat in about five minutes if I capsize. Generally I feel as quick and able as I did 30 years ago.

“As long as I’m not hurting anyone I think I’m free to carry on doing what I love. If I upset the system then they will just have to learn to live with it.”

Father-of-one Glenn’s new vessel is called ‘Goes To Eleven’, a reference to cult movie This is Spinal Tap – in which it ironically means ‘surpasses all expectations’.

When he began sailing in 2003 he was forced to dial 999 three times in the first year alone.

Since then RNLI crews have been called out on a further ten occasions after Glenn’s catamaran turned over – at a cost of at least £2,500 per rescue.

Officials have pleaded with him to give up sailing – with local coastguards and the RNLI dubbing him ‘Captain Calamity’.

'Captain Calamity' capsizes new boat on maiden voyage

In 2007 he was rescued four times in four hours by local sailors and coastguards after he flipped his boat.

He first decided to try extreme sailing after a motorcycle accident made surfing and paddling for waves too difficult.

Surf shop worker Glenn announced that he had decided 2011 was the year he aimed to successfully surf one of the 20ft waves at the Cribbar, despite his first attempt ending with a call to the coastguards.

He added: “I know I can never conquer it. Anyone who thinks they can conquer the ocean is very naive and very mistaken.

“I am just going to see if I can sneak in and sneak out without it knowing.”

He likened his unorthodox approach to big wave surfing to that of ten times world champion Kelly Slater.

”Kelly uses a board that goes against what 99 per cent of other surfers are riding because it works for him,” he said.

“I’m the same with my catamaran. Now I can generate enough speed to catch these waves and my boat essentially becomes an 18ft surfboard.

“It’s terrifying – but if it wasn’t then it wouldn’t be exciting. You have to have that ability to just switch off and do your job. That’s how I see it, it is my job to be out there doing this.”


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