Footage has emerged of the Great Britain team in the Clipper Round the World yacht race being struck by a tornado.
A sailing crew has described how its yacht flipped on its side as a tornado passed over it during the Clipper Round the World race.
Dramatic footage has emerged of the moment the water spout hits the Great Britain team as they sailed from Brisbane to Singapore.
A camera fixed to the mast filmed the boat as it was tipped 120 degrees by winds of more than 100mph until the mast lay parallel to the water.
Squally conditions meant the crew was unable to see the water spout approaching and some were thrown into the water on their tethers while others scrabbled to hang onto the boat.
The vessel righted itself within seconds once the tornado had passed.
Paul Hardy, crew member on the Great Britain Clipper team, is seen in the film dangling in the water and desperately trying to cling to the mast.
He said: “We had had a number of squalls during the day and we had seen another squall coming in and just thought it was going to be another squall so we started to put the reef in.”
The 43-year-old IT consultant from Brighton added: “All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I’m not sure where it was, the wind picked up and the noise picked up and the water just started to rise, then the water was up to here and I knew something was seriously wrong.
“Then I saw the mast in front of me and I tried to get out of the water and climb onto the mast, and then just saw what was a water spout just going off in the distance and it was all over in a matter of seconds, 60 seconds, we were down and then we were righted and then we were safe but it was certainly an experience I wouldn’t want to repeat.
“It felt strange really, it was confusing really, because we had put reefs in many times before and we had been through squall situations many times before, I was just expecting it to be a normal squall, so it was confusing because the boat turned totally on its side, never experienced that before, I just didn’t know what was happening.
“It makes us feel we can definitely get through it and tackle anything, but apprehensive and always wary that the ocean is the boss and making sure that we pay attention to what she is telling us.”
The tornado struck in January this year during race eight between Australia and Singapore.
Fortunately it did not damage and boat and none of the crew was hurt.
The Great Britain team currently lie in join second position with one race left to go between Den Helder in the Netherlands and London, where the 11-month competition will finish.
The Clipper Round the World Race sees 12 teams made up largely of novice sailors battle it out in 16 races which take them 40,000 miles around the globe.
The fleet will be returning to London’s St Katharine’s Dock this Saturday, where it departed on September 1, 2013.