Top Gear (2002) s10e02 Episode Script

Crossing the Channel

Tonight, James May faces trial by water.
Richard Hammond faces trial by fire.
Hello! Hello and good evening.
Thanks very much.
Now, ever since Honda dropped the NSX a couple of years ago, the Porsche 911 was the only supercar, - if you can call it a supercar - Which you can.
Was the only supercar that you could use every day.
- And it still is.
- Well, you see, no, it isn't.
- Because now there's a new kid on the block.
- No, there isn't.
Audis are mainly built for German cement salesmen.
Not this one, though.
This is the R8.
It's made from a blend of carbon fiber, magnesium and aluminum.
It has two seats.
The engine's in the middle, and it's about as high off the ground as a badger's badger.
By any measure it's a full-on supercar but so far as I can tell it doesn't have any of the usual supercar drawbacks.
You can see out of it, for a kickoff.
And it's not powered by some V17 quad turbo that does half a mile to the gallon and runs on diced lions.
It's actually got the same 4.
2 liter V8 that Audi put in the RS4 Saloon.
And would you listen to it? I am now doing 100 mph and it sounds like I'm in church.
Only I've got more headroom.
And how have they done that? How can there be so much space in a car that's so low? How? I can only presume, and this is a revolting thought, I know, that my buttocks are actually kissing the cat's-eyes.
Not only is it spacious but it's comfortable as well.
And at L77,000 it costs about half as much as its stepsister, the Lamborghini Gallardo.
It all sounds brilliant.
But there are one or two issues that are worth mentioning.
Most of the things on it, the leather upholstery, the satellite navigation, the stainless-steel pedals, the Bang & Olufsen stereo, in fact nearly everything is an optional extra.
And I don't think it's a particularly good-looking car.
It's not balanced properly somehow.
And those LED fairy lamps at the front, they really don't work at all.
They make it look like a council house at Christmas.
The thing is, though, you won't care about the headlamps when you open the taps a little bit.
Naught to 60 takes 4.
6 seconds.
The top speed is as near as makes no difference, 190.
It's not the speed, though, that impresses you most of all.
It's the way this thing feels through the corners.
Driving most supercars is like trying to manhandle a cow up a back staircase.
This is like smearing honey into Keira Knightley.
It may have four-wheel drive but it never sends more than a third of the power to the front wheels.
So you don't really ever get any understeer.
It's grip, grip, grip, and then if it does let go, it's just so manageable.
I'm, um I'm completely sold.
As far as I'm concerned, this car is almost without fault.
- It is absolutely stunning.
- Rubbish.
I'll show you stunning.
This is the best 911, the Carrera 2S.
It costs about the same as the Audi, and will now run four rings round it.
Ah, Richard Hammond appears to have joined us in his Volkswagen Beetle.
So you want to play? Right.
Sport suspension on.
Traction control off.
Here goes.
The thing is, with that Audi you're just not as involved in the drive.
It's like he's back at base pushing plastic pieces around on a war planning table.
And this? I'm on the front line getting stuck in.
He's probably rabbiting on in there about how he feels an organic part of the machine but the simple fact of the matter is he's behind me.
Obviously, through the corners, I have the four-wheel drive grip and then on the straights his miserable Flat 6 is no match for this V8 tower of power.
Hold on.
I think his engine's broken.
I can't hear it.
It's almost silent.
What's the point of having a supercar that doesn't shout about it all? My driving letting us down there.
Mind you, Hammond's driving also letting him down.
Fearing that this would end up in a crash and a fireball, we pulled over for an argument.
No, come on.
It's not just about the result.
It's about the sensation along the way.
The problem with this, mate, is they put the engine in the back, OK? - Wrong place.
- No.
Look, horse and cart.
I know, let's put the horse at the back! So in your case they put the horse in the middle, in the cart.
Yes, but it's balanced.
No, that is one of the defining characteristics of that car.
- What? - It defines the shape, which is aerodynamic.
The packaging means with the engine behind the rear wheels, you've got room for another set of seats so you can use it.
Why do you want seats in the back? I took the kids to school in that this morning and drove straight here.
Well, I didn't.
So who's the daddy now? I said, "Kids, go with your mother because I've got no seats.
" - Why has it got silly gray bits, Dad? - They are side blades.
Having resolved nothing, we decided to settle it intelligently with a half-mile drag race.
Well, I've got about 70 brake horsepower less, but it's lighter.
His four-wheel drive will bog down off the line.
I really want to win this cos I really, really like this car.
I mean, a lot.
I've got the engine on the rear wheel so I've got the advantage in traction.
I'm confident ish.
I am ahead, clearly! He's definitely got better traction off the line.
- I can't see him.
Where is he? - Hundred and twenty.
Here we go.
Oh, no! Oh, no! Come on, come on, come on! - Who won? - I've no idea.
Aha! Now Now what's going on? - I didn't see.
- Neither did I but we're gonna find out.
Can we see a slow-motion replay of that finish, please? Here we go.
Oh, yes! Clearly! Yeah! No, no! No! No, you lost.
That is an L for Loser.
Ah, but very soon there's gonna be a V10 version of this.
Not the Lambo V10.
Audi's own.
Then ha-ha! - Yeah, I wouldn't hold your breath.
- Why? Did you hear what happened to the prototype? We have a photograph of it here, if we look up.
- That's on fire.
It's clearly on fire.
- It's just steam.
- Really? - Yes.
Would you like to see what happened once they put the "steam" out? - Yeah.
- There's the car.
That's ooh, that's steamed.
- It's steamed.
- Yes, well steamed.
Can we just get on? No.
I tell you what.
I'm gonna settle this once and for all.
I'm gonna put it to the audience.
I'm gonna hold a general election right here, right now.
This is a very popular car.
You know there's a L30,000 premium on these at the moment.
You go ahead if you want.
Actually, no, I've suddenly decided that a general election right now is a stupid idea.
Because I might lose.
Why don't you just stay where you are and nick all my ideas? That's a good idea.
In fact it was my idea to do just that.
- It's a great car.
- It's a brilliant car.
I've said that from the start.
But we must now find out how fast this goes round our track and that means handing it over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that he's banned from the town of Chichester.
And that in a recent late-night deal he bought a slightly dented white Fiat Uno from the Duke of Edinburgh.
All we know is he's called The Stig.
He's off.
Track looking a bit damp.
Hope that won't hurt the time as he powers down to the first corner, lights twinkling like the Woolworths sale there.
But very smooth, very flat.
Remember that you are always in control.
No feelings of tension, irritability.
Stig seems to have got himself some self-help CDs as he flicks it beautifully through Chicago.
Chassis really is sublime.
Let's see how he copes with the Hammerhead.
Slow in then back on the power.
No real drama there at all.
In these conditions it's just excellent.
Be aware only of yourself and have no concern for the thoughts or expectations of your partner.
Straight through the Follow-Through.
No problem.
They have the same engine as the magnificent RS4.
This is so much more nimble.
Dances through the tire wall.
0K, two corners left.
Staying level and focused.
There isn't a single moment's drama in it.
A bit of mud on the apexl And there he is across the line.
Now mm-hm.
Now, earlier today Earlier today, the Stig, he took the Porsche round, OK? So we could get a time for that.
We've got some footage of him coming up to the second-to-last corner here.
Yeah, there he is.
What do you make of this, Richard? Very good.
Very strong stuff, as I'd expect.
Oh! Ah! Ah! Ah! No! Ah! It's my idea to say, as I've always said, that the engine's in the wrong place in a Porsche, and that was - Was never my idea that you've stolen.
- No, no, it's my idea.
But he went round again and he did it in 1 minute 26.
2 seconds, OK? Then he went out in the Audi.
- 1 minute 24.
4 seconds.
- Oh.
I predicted that from the start, obviously.
- Will you now admit that that is a better car? - Yes, I do.
Yes! It is brilliant.
I I Yeah.
Yeah, I know.
A couple of years ago, the three of us were asked to make amphibious cars and, if we're honest, it didn't go all that well.
James's Herald was pretty good on the water but then there were some problems on land.
Oh, cock.
Richard's damper van was rubbish on the land - and then even more rubbish in the water.
- It's going! My toy boater, on the other hand, was brilliant everywhere, right up to the moment when it, um rolled over.
Now that is pretty much par for the course on Top Gear.
We're always setting ourselves ambitious targets asking, "How hard can it be to make a convertible people carrier "or turn a Fiat Panda into a stretch limo?" And everything always ends up either broken in half or on fire or sunk.
And then we give up and move on.
But with amphibious cars the producer said no, we had to try again.
Mm, they said no more fooling about, we had to concentrate, we were told to refine our original ideas and then meet in a car park near Sidcup, - which is just outside London on the M24.
- Five.
- M5.
- 25.
Jeremy was the first to arrive.
There we are.
Now, obviously, my, um original plan of simply bolting a very large outboard engine to the back of a pick-up truck worked very well, until it rolled over.
So to prevent that happening again, what I've done is I've welded up the doors much more thoroughly this time.
That should stop water getting into the cockpit and sloshing from side to side.
In the back I've fitted these big drums which, when I go in the water, I simply lower them like this, so they're like sort of stabilizers on a child's bicycle, and that should give me more, um um um - Stability.
- Yes, that.
Next Hammond arrived.
- No.
- Yeah.
- No, you see, Hammond - Yes? what you've done there, mate, is you've parked a van on top of a boat.
No, it's brilliant.
Let me tell you.
It is a refinement of the theory.
- Flying bridge.
Completely equipped.
- It's not a flying bridge.
More or less.
And this is where the girls go, up here - No, Richard.
in bikinis.
- I see.
Would you like to step down? - Yes.
- Stand at the wheel.
- Yes.
- Look ahead.
- Yeah, that is an issue.
I need a box.
I need a sailing box.
As before, Richard had stuck with the cabin cruiser principle.
And as before, to make it move in the water, he'd simply fixed a propeller to the Volkswagen's rear-mounted engine.
So as you're driving down the road, - this propeller is turning.
- A bit.
- Have you rung the Highways Department - Yes.
and told them that you're driving a car with a blender on the back? And there was another issue.
- This is your hull.
- Yes, it is.
- These are holes in it.
- Fiberglass holes for the wheels to stick out.
I've seen Titanic.
Got a hole in it.
No, but I've sealed them around the arches with foam.
- If Titanic had been filled with foam - Fine.
it would have been here today.
- They didn't know that then.
Fiberglass hole predominantly.
It barely tips the scale over five tonnes.
- Cooling? - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Oh, yeah, there's that.
Jeremy showed off his handiwork.
- You've set fire to it? - There was a small fire.
- What? - The welding.
And then while waiting for James Ambitious! Thinking of what to occupy yourself with whilst out on the water not sinking.
- Whilst you sink again.
- No, not this time.
- It will.
- It won't.
- It will.
- It just won't.
Some time much later, James arrived in a flurry of déja vu.
- It's the same vehicle.
- The same car.
- Well, not exactly, but - No, exactly the same car.
It is the same car, and the reason for that is my car, if you remember, worked.
It didn't.
Every time you got to a low bridge, your mast was Ah, now I have a collapsible mast.
And I have a spinnaker.
And I also have a keel-cum-centerboard How did you get that underneath it? You drop it down through the slot like you do on a dinghy.
- Have you seen this? - That's where the water will be.
The water will just simply What's the word? Come through there.
- And you'll sink.
- No, I won't.
- I've calculated it using Archimedes.
- What's a spinnaker? When a body is wholly or partially immersed in a fluid, it experiences an upthrust equal in magnitude to the mass of the fluid displaced.
This won't work.
We'd soon find out.
- Thank you so much.
Here's our challenge.
- Come on, then.
- Is it bad? - Yes.
- No, really bad.
- Go on, then.
You will now drive to Dover.
No, not And then you will cross the Channel to France.
That's the sea.
- What is it, 22 miles? - He's not making it up.
Mine won't do that.
If I'd known it was the sea, I'd have fitted a bigger anchor.
- That's not really a sea-going anchor.
- And a longer chain.
I'm not gonna need that.
- No, this'll sink in 30 feet.
- I'm not sure.
- It will sink.
We're all going to be killed.
- No.
- We're going to be killed.
- No.
Mine's a dinghy and dinghies sail across the Channel every day.
I'm 47 years old.
I'm going to be run down by a Korean grain carrier, minced Yeah, but what a day! Before we could set off, James had to take down his new collapsible mast.
Timber! Oh, my God! Um France, here we come.
- What's it caught on? - The security camera.
So would you admit that your design is already flawed? No.
Oh, Christ.
Finally we were on the road, and it soon became clear that all the additions had taken the edge off my Nissank's performance.
Come on! Mind you, why was I hurrying? I'm just gonna ring the solicitor, do my last will and testament, leave everything to the lifeboat people.
I can't believe they're asking us to go across the Channel in them.
I'm following Jeremy's pick-up and it looks like a man with a pick-up who's stolen an outboard motor and two oil drums on the way to a fishing trip.
James, as usual, had fallen behind, but otherwise all was well in his world.
This is fantastic.
I absolutely cannot wait to try out my Triumph Herald in its newly re-rigged form and sail across the Channel.
Why shouldn't it work? I had just one crumb of comfort.
This time, mine was working on the road.
But then the crumb went away.
Unfortunately, solving the not-floating problem with foam means you get another one, which is choking.
Then Jeremy arrived.
Hammond is being killed and mine is Well, it's hard to know, is that smoke or # And we jolly sailor boys were up, up aloft - Well done.
- Ooh, dear.
What what you've done is fill your engine bay with foam.
Hold on.
And it's caught fire.
- Yeah, OK.
How's your engine? - Ruined.
Every single thing we do - James? Where is he? He isn't even here! - I don't know.
Hoping that the hot exhaust would burn away the foam without it becoming a big ruinous fire, we pressed on.
God, look at them.
They are worse than they were last time on the road.
And we've got a much bigger challenge on the water.
Mind you, after five miles Hammond was beyond caring.
It is like the West Indian dope-smoking team practicing in the car.
Hello! Eventually the excess foam did burn off, and soon we arrived in Dover.
- Keep on looking.
- Yeah.
You know, one day they're gonna want one.
We would be launching from the slipway once used by the giant cross-channel hovercrafts.
Spread before us was Dover harbor, and beyond the safety of its walls the busiest shipping lane in the world.
My fishing rods! Amazingly, the only things that did actually break on the Nissank's journey to Dover were all its brakes.
I'm telling you, James, I cannot stop it.
I can't stop it! By the time James had fixed his rudder, we were running late and the tide was coming in.
- It's ten to eight.
- Yeah? - It's 22 miles.
- Mm.
If mine worked, that's 25 minutes.
- How fast do you think it goes? - Forty knots.
Get off! Have you seen the size of the engine? - Your top speed? - Very slow.
- Four knots? - Yeah.
- A three-knot tide.
It's a mile an hour.
- Yeah.
- And you? - Twenty knots.
Just No, James.
Look, the point is, I'm the only one with even a vague hope of getting there before nightfall.
Why don't we just go when the tide's going out? Then it'll help us.
- That's a good idea.
- That's tomorrow.
- No, slack water.
- Slack water, yeah? Slack water is tomorrow about one o'clock.
- We shall go then.
- Yes.
- We'll go to the pub now.
- Sound idea, yeah.
We'll go to the pub now, and then tomorrow, one o'clock that'll be us at slack water.
Cos the water's slack.
What's slack water? We shall see We will see.
Honestly, crossing the Channel has got to be just about the stupidest idea ever.
You had that sense, "I'm gonna end up today with hypothermia, attached to a stomach pump.
" - Just awful.
- We were all so paranoid about sinking.
We put all that foam everywhere to make them float better.
We wrapped it round the manifold, round the exhaust, round the engine.
Round anywhere really hot, basically, which is why there was all that smoke pouring out.
Anyway, it's now time to put a star in our reasonably priced car.
My guest tonight was once suspended from Channel 4 for using the F-word on live television before the watershed.
I mean for 's sake.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jools Holland! Wow.
- This is something! - Lovely to see you! Yes.
He looks like Richard Hammond.
He's so small and dinky.
- Have a seat.
- Thank you very much.
I shall.
- Now, you're the size of Richard Hammond.
- Yes.
But looking into your past life, old British motorbikes, you play the piano.
You view foreign food with suspicion.
You say that people shouldn't go abroad on their holidays.
Spend it in the shed.
Separated at birth, I think, from James May.
What a lovely fellow he is.
What a talented and and great mind that man has.
It's very hard, though, for me to reconcile these views with how I first remember seeing you on The Tube, which was, of course, complete anarchy.
Well, that was in early, happy days.
In many ways, that was the first time that television was put into the hands of the lunatics.
Now things have changed, but that was the first time it sort of happened, and, um we made it up as we went along, and it was live, and it was Friday, it was 5:30, the pubs were open.
- You had to do your interviews in a minute? - That was the other thing.
Because it was youth television, I suppose, the beginning of youth television, they thought everybody's attention span was that long so you had only a minute.
We had Miles Davis, one of the great sort of jazz legends of all time, come up, and he was he'd been promoting his drawings.
So they said, "You've got a minute to interview him.
" I said, "But he's like one of the most biggest names in jazz ever.
Surely "You know, surely he's worth more than a minute.
" They said, "All right, you can have a minute and 20.
" So I sat and I said to him, "Well, Mr.
Davis" He's got these great sunglasses.
He's sitting there.
I said I said, "Would you connect your art to your music?" And he said, "Mm" Would I connect my art to my music? Ignore the pain.
"Er yeah.
"That's a good question.
" - Ah! - So I don't want to interrupt.
And he said, "Would I connect my art to the music? "Good" Then the woman behind They probably have them here.
- No, we don't.
- This is quite a long story.
Then she's going, "Five" It's going down to no time at all.
Then it's like this, and he says, "Yeah.
" part of the punk era.
Do you miss the gobbing? I mean, if this were 1978, they would just be spitting on us.
- It would be a hailstorm of gob.
- Yes.
- But it was a compliment at the time.
- It was.
- And then - Feel free to gob on us.
That was back then, back in the day.
Then our manager Miles Copeland said, "What you do to ingratiate yourselves with anybody who's doing that, "look, I've some tins of beer at the side of the stage, hand the tins of beer out.
" So we did that and then once they'd had the beer, they chucked the empty tins back.
You even met Joey Ramone.
- Does anyone know who he is? - Yeah.
Yes, you see, that's one person and that's enough, cos this is the BBC.
We're not going for ratings, we're going for the one man over there.
What was it like? We were playing in this club called CBGBs, which was a fantastic punk club, and after we finished the Ramones said, "Do you want to come down to this club?" This very nice place called KZ's.
So we went there and I really have never been to anywhere like it before or since.
In each and every room there was an orgy or drug-taking.
Some absurd scenes.
Like one of those strange films of Caligula or something.
Never seen anything like it.
Anyway, I was standing talking to one of the Ramones.
I looked down, and I was very surprised to see that there was one of the womenfolk of New York er performing an act upon his person.
And do you know, he rather lost interest in what I was saying? Unfortunately, we must now stop.
No, we mustn't.
I tell you something, You've got this new album out.
Well, I've done a lot of collaborations with people, and it's the best ones.
We've got a clip of it.
Just to show how many people this guy actually plays with.
Sorry about the telly but here we go.
Play the tape.
# Tell me # Where have all the good guys gone # And you can take a horse to the water # But you can't make it drink # 0h, no, oh, no # 0h, no Just everybody.
My only regret is that you're not there playing the drums.
Trust me, there would have been people wrapping their keyboards around me if I'd have been trying to keep time.
- Now cars.
- Motors.
Now you're talking.
The thing that fascinates me is I heard that you choose a car on how it smells.
Very important.
For instance, I've got an Austin Westminster.
- Mm.
- Bought entirely because of its smell.
I don't know how they ever caught anybody in it.
And you wind down the window just this much and then Law & Order 1965.
It's beautiful.
- That's what it smells of, Law & Order? - Exactly, yeah.
- So what other cars have you got? - An old Aston Martin.
They're quite fun.
- You've got an E-type? - Yes.
I always like Jags.
I feel Jags they're so kind of wonderful to drive.
The V12 Jaguar engine is to this day the smoothest engine that there has ever been, and I've done the threepenny bit test on all of them.
You get the threepenny bit, you place it on top of the engine Mm-hm.
Threepenny bit's not rhyming slang now? We're talking - That's right, yes.
It matters little.
- Cos that would be an amazing thing to do.
- Whatever comes to hand.
- What a test! It'll stand there and you can rev it up, doesn't bat an eyelid.
And of course you're a member of a great many classic car clubs, as I understand.
Let's see.
The E-type Club, the Jaguar.
They're marvelous.
Philip Porter.
Fantastic club.
The Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts'.
The Bentley Drivers Club.
Very good for spare parts.
And you can get a Bentley Drivers Club dressing gown, which you can only You get a Porsche pipe.
Only recognizable by another Bentley Drivers Club person if you're in dressing gowns together.
That's a real worry, now you've just said that.
You must come out with us one evening.
On one of our noggins and natters and cheese niblets evenings we have.
- Anyway, listen.
Your lap.
- Oh.
Your first attempt not that good.
- Who'd like to see his first attempt at a lap? - Yeah.
Let's have a look at this.
Here we go.
Coming up to the first corner.
A lot of speed being carried in there, I would say.
- I just thought - Yes.
I just liked the way you just kept going, cos I don't think the brake lights went on.
- Well - Here we go, look.
No, lookl This is this is finel Exactly.
Well, I'm very much built for comfort, not for speed.
Well, I like I have to say that any man who drives with that kind of enthusiasm and bravery, you get a good lap out of them.
Well, I don't know.
I was rather nervous.
Shall we have a look at the lap? - Yeah.
- Play the tape.
That's a good aggressive start.
I want to see the first corner.
Did you learn your lesson? Yeah it's pretty quick.
No, braking in now.
That was quite abrupt.
Oh You just said that before the watershed.
I'd forgotten that the I'd forgotten that I was being miked up in there.
Did you like the car? - Fantastic.
What a car.
- Isn't it? There's a gear there somewhere.
Ho-hol We saw you looking.
And into the Hammerhead.
That's that's very good.
That's excellent.
That's a properly good line through there.
Coming up to the Follow-through.
Were you flat out? It's frightening, that part.
That's why it's called the Follow-through.
And through the tires.
Yes, it's looking good.
That's the second-to-last corner.
Most people get it wrong.
You've held it on nicely.
Coming up to the last corner.
And there we are.
Across the line.
Now, where do you think you came on the board of shame? - Where I've always dreamed of being.
- Yeah, well.
Look, this is the keyboard man.
I think my birthday's around the same time as him, so I put myself next in keyboard corner there.
Keyboard corner? No, you're way faster than that.
I'm delighted to say you did it in one forty-nine - Oh! point nine.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is a great time.
It is.
There! I'm not surely, surely not faster than Steve Coogan? Faster than Steve Coogan.
No, that's a very good time.
- Listen, it's been great fun having you.
- It's been lovely here.
Squeeze and The Tube and music and cars as well.
- Jools Holland! - Thank you very much.
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
That's great.
OK, now back to tonight's big challenge.
The three of us have built amphibious cars.
We've driven them down to Dover with only one or two small fires on the way.
When we left the action, we were preparing to sail them across the Channel to France.
The last time we tried amphibious cars we were flummoxed by a small reservoir in Staffordshire.
This time we faced not just 22 miles of open sea, but the busiest shipping lane in the world.
Nevertheless, we were due to set sail at something called slack water.
It was a lovely morning, and the sea inside the harbor was calm and inviting.
Despite the roughness, Captain Cocksure was supremely confident in his engineering and eager to get going.
Hammond and I, however, weren't.
Have you ever considered the meaning of life? No, but I I think we should.
- And now's the time.
- Yeah, yeah.
This is ready.
I've checked it for watertightness.
I've got all the sheets, which is the nautical term for these pieces of string, in position.
It is all absolutely shipshape and ready to go.
- How many grains of sugar are there there? - That's what I was That's We say blithely, "I'll have one sugar.
" How many are there? - One.
- Yeah.
- Hundred and eighteen.
- Two.
- Hundred and nineteen.
- Three.
- You started again? - Yeah, I lost count.
I want to get it right.
We have to go.
That thing's gonna leave.
Then the harbor's empty.
I want to go.
Finally they arrived back.
You're two and three quarter hours late.
- No.
Slack water is in - Lot of stuff to do.
Listen, before we set off, I've just got a few more things to do.
The night before while a bit drunk, I'd stuck hydrofoil bin lids to the side of my pick-up and I needed to make sure the glue had set.
But James wouldn't wait.
Right, I'm going.
- He's going.
He's going.
- He's off! He's doing it.
It's a car.
It's still a car.
It's a boat.
Gib sail.
You're coming back now.
It's a car again.
- He's got no rudder in the water.
- It's that way.
Oh, yeah.
And Dame Ellen May had another problem.
The centerboard's stuck.
He's got further that way than he has that way.
I'm enjoying this.
I was so preoccupied with my centerboard, I wasn't looking where I was going.
Oh, my.
He's going to hit the pier.
Here comes a rescue boat.
You're being rescued after what? A minute and a half.
It's so unfair.
The rescue boat nudged me back to open water, where I discovered my Archimedes calculations were a bit out.
I would say that car's sinking as well.
Mayday! He's going down, I think we should get in there.
This can only go well.
Here we go.
Oh, yeah! Once again, the pick-up truck is working.
Yes! It works! I am floating! Amazingly, all three of us were floating.
Well, when I say three It's going down.
Richard offered to pick James up but he had a problem.
- You can't stop? - No, I can't stop the engine.
- See you, then! - Oh, bloody hell! - Do you want to come on this boat? - Up to a point, yes.
Will you admit it's a brilliant piece of design? - No, bugger off.
- Goodbye.
Richard and I returned to land, because we wanted to be there to offer James reassurance and sympathy.
You designed a rubbish car and you know nothing about sailing.
Amazingly, however, James insisted that his Herald and the snapped mast could be fixed.
And so, with help from me and Jeremy, two hours later he was back in business.
Here we go.
Let's go! This is absolutely brilliant! I'm actually using my weight to counter the roll of the craft.
Is that your top speed? I'm flat out.
Even so, I was a lot faster than James.
So Jeremy and I left him behind and pretty soon we were at the mouth of the harbor facing the open sea.
That's choppy out there.
I can't do that.
Not not in a van.
Mate, it's horrible! Maybe if we snuck up on it Yeah, sneak up on the sea, that's brilliant.
Meanwhile, back with Captain Pugwash Sod it.
Right, now, sail.
Ah! Ah! We were leaving the harbor.
You can't see what's coming.
I can.
Help! I can just see sky, sea, sky, sea! Ha-ha-ha! Whoa! My God! This is big now! Quite scared! Quite scared! Quite really scared! Why the bloody hell won't it turn round? Ow.
That thing.
Whoa! It's coming through the sun roof! I'm gonna try and turn.
Bloody hell.
Ooh! - These are quite big.
- Don't like that! Don't turn on a wave.
- Wait or something.
- I don't know, I got scared! - Oh, my God.
- Agh! No, no, no! In seas like this and with my puny power, I bravely decided to head back to the harbor.
And then Jeremy bravely followed suit.
Ow! Is it not working well, James? Have you ever heard of the milk of human kindness? Well, prepare to suckle on it.
Thank you.
Sorry, mate.
As Jeremy rescued James, I realized that the big seas had damaged my precious craft.
My steering's broken.
I just go in faster circles.
I was stuck in the entrance to the harbor.
Oh, my God, there is the Seacat.
He can move.
But he continued on course and now James was a sitting duck as well.
No time to lose.
- What do you want me to do? - Just nudge the front gently back to port.
I can't get in! Come on, you bitch! I don't I can't do gently.
That's not around, that's backwards, you pillock.
I don't want to go that way now! Go left! And then Oh, not another one! Never in maritime history has a ship had to dodge so much flotsam and jetsam while coming into Dover.
- Sorry, it was him.
- Sorry.
And this made us be in trouble.
Morning, Officer.
Yeah, fine, thank you.
Everything's under control.
We were ordered back to land but getting there wasn't easy.
Mate, my engine is letting go.
It's dying.
There's no doubt about it.
The Herald was towed back.
Gently! And I pulled Richard in.
That's humiliating.
- So we set out for France twice.
- Yeah.
- And - We made Dover.
James' boat was now beyond repair.
But luckily Jeremy was on hand to comfort him.
You failed! Thank you.
Third attempt.
Here we go.
Today the wind had dropped and the sea was much calmer.
We're going to France.
This time we are going.
I was now powered by an outboard I'd bought from Jeremy for a million pounds.
And James was my cabin boy.
If you'd go below, please, Roger the Cabin Boy, - and a cup of tea.
- Aye aye, sir.
Oi, Prescott! I'll have a bacon sandwich! Richard's million-pound outboard wasn't exactly gutsy.
So in the spirit of the sea and in keeping with the maritime code, I gunned it and left them behind.
Oh, she's riding the waves like a twig.
Meanwhile back on the cabin cruiser Bloody hell! May! - What? - There's quite a lot of water.
- It's up to - Oh, not again.
As you can see this morning, the sea is a millpond.
We're hoping to capitalize on that and make good progress before the waves build up, which they inevitably will.
This is the third time I've been in this bloody sea.
Tech technically, it wasn't my fault.
I'm disappointed.
I thought we were gonna make it.
Sorry, mate.
The cap sank.
With typical good grace, Jeremy came back to pick us up and then announced we'd have to go back to Dover.
This seemed like a waste of time.
But as we lined up for our fourth attempt, his reasoning became clear.
A couple of years ago, Richard Branson set a record for crossing the Channel in an amphibious car.
One hour, forty minutes, six seconds.
And? No way! It's an average speed of 10.
8 knots.
- What, so we go for it? We give it a shot? - In Calais for lunch.
Beardy! You're going down! Guys, can I ask one question? - What? - Where's France? We follow the ferry.
But not the one going to Holland.
Soon the three men in a boat were an incredible two miles from England.
And since we were going for a record, we had to work out our speed.
This is our speedometer.
We've tied knots in a row.
You throw it in and you see how many pass through your fingers in a given time.
- It's a very accurate system.
- Captain? Cap'n.
About 110 knots.
Er 125.
Because we were blasting along at a steady 125 miles an hour we had a visit from the coastguard.
This is the UK Coastguard.
Please state your intentions, please.
Our intentions are to go across the Channel faster than beardy Branson.
In that case, I wish you good luck and bon voyage.
I want to do that for a job.
That's brilliant.
I mean, all you do is jump out and wrestle Albanians.
Amazingly, our vessel plowed on without mishap.
And then Land ahoy! France! We can see France! On a pick-up truck! Mind you, Jeremy, do you want to be depressed? - What? - Look at England.
Boldly going further than any pick-up had gone before, we were soon in the shipping lanes.
Bloody hell.
What do we do now? We can't remember whose right of way it is.
That's on what's called a constant bearing as well, which means we're gonna hit it.
Oh, God, no! I'm thinking I'll maybe go behind it.
- Yeah, I'd go behind it.
- Yeah.
I think behind it is best.
Having missed all the big scary boats, we turned our attention back to Branson's record.
Ready? Ready? One hour forty minutes coming up now! - We've failed! - We lost! Now it was just a question of seeing if we could make it, but with eight miles to go it started to get choppy.
- We're going down, boys.
- Aah! It's pouring in.
Oh, my God.
Look in there now.
I don't like that! We're in big trouble.
Things were even worse at the back.
We're taking on a hell of a lot of water.
So we sent James to the front to act as ballast.
I'm getting a bit bored with sinking, frankly.
Mercifully, as we got into the lee or something or other, the waters calmed and we could taste success.
The town of Sangatte was about to get three more immigrants.
Never mind that we'd aimed for Calais and missed.
France is France.
Come on, come on! We're 20 yards from France.
To succeed, we had to get up the boat ramp, but that meant going through the breakers.
Aah! Aaah! Where's that come from? Help! I really thought we were gonna tip over.
We're on the rocks.
We're going up the beach now.
Skilfully, James got a rope round the front bumper and in a gap in the waves I went for it.
No! That's good.
The pick-up had landed.
Merci bien! Merci bien!