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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2005, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Pop singer abandons yachting race
Simon Le Bon on his former yacht Drum
Le Bon said he had a commitment to fans
Pop star Simon Le Bon has been forced to pull out of the sailing race in which he almost died 20 years ago.

The Duran Duran singer, 46, was reunited with all but one of the original crew to take part in the 2005 Rolex Fastnet Race.

He and other crew members were trapped under the capsized hull of his yacht, The Drum, during the race in 1985.

On Wednesday the yacht, the Arnold Clark Drum, was forced to retire from the race because of calm winds.

'High spirits'

Le Bon was unable to continue because he had to fly to Japan on Thursday to begin a series of concerts for 60,000 fans in Tokyo.

The crew, which had set off from Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, decided to motor round Fastnet rock - the turning point in the 680-mile race - and return to Plymouth.

A spokesman for Le Bon said he was disappointed the singer had to pull out of the race but added he had a commitment to his fans that had to come first.

"Simon and the crew remain in high spirits," he added.

"They've really enjoyed the reunion and have succeeded in their mission to raise funds for the RNLI.

"They are now even more determined to compete and finish the Rolex Fastnet Race in the future."

The Arnold Clark Drum was competing against 280 other craft in the race.

Le Bon sails past race crash site
08 Aug 05 |  Hampshire
Le Bon's return to Fastnet race
06 Aug 05 |  Hampshire
Le Bon to face yacht race demons
16 May 05 |  Scotland
Rescued woman reunited with pop star
07 Apr 04 |  Northern Ireland

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