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Tuesday, 14 March, 2000, 18:45 GMT
Queen names world's largest yacht
queen and pete goss
The Queen and Pete Goss watch as champagne bottle smashes
The Queen has officially named the world's largest ocean racing yacht in a ceremony on the river Thames in London.

Standing beneath the 135ft high masts, she smashed a bottle of champagne over the boat and spoke the time-honoured words: "I name this yacht Team Philips. God bless her and all who sail in her."

The Queen was taken on board the 4m catamaran - which is the size of Wimbledon centre court - by skipper Pete Goss, 38, who first thought up the idea of Team Philips more than five years ago.


That was absolutely fantastic - it is such a great honour to have the Queen name this boat

Team Philips skipper Pete Goss
The idea started on the back of a beer mat and developed into the largest carbon fibre racing yacht.

Wearing purple and at times holding on to her hat to protect it against the fresh river breeze, the Queen met the five men who will help Mr Goss attempt to break the round-the-world speed sailing record.

Around 450 people had applied for the five-crew berth - won by Andy Hindley, from Twickenham, London, Michael Calvin, from Eversholt, Bedfordshire, Graham Goff from Chichester, Paul Larsen from Australia and Alex Bennett from Hounslow, west London.

Hundreds of people lined the banks of the Thames and crowded on to Tower Bridge to see the naming ceremony.

Pete Goss
Pete Goss: "Honour to have the Queen name this boat."
Mr Goss said: "That was absolutely fantastic - it is such a great honour to have the Queen name this boat.

"Today is the culmination of five years' thought and work."

Mr Goss became a global hero when he turned back in a southern ocean hurricane to rescue fellow competitor Raphael Dinelli in the 1996-97 Vende Globe round the world single-handed race.

He said: "It is amazing to think two weeks ago the boat was in pieces and wasn't painted.

"There is always a reason not to do something in life but this shows what you can do."

No-holds-barred

The yacht, which is 120ft long by 70ft wide and is designed to go at speeds of up to 40 knots, is the largest carbon fibre structure in the world.

On 1 April the crew will attempt to break the 71-day round the world Jules Verne speed sailing record.

Then she will bid to win the event for which she was really built, simply called The Race.

That is a no-holds-barred, round-the-world dash starting from Barcelona, Spain, on 31 December.

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