Outside Edge (20/06/10)

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The Independent Online

Congratulations to the four-man crew who have retraced Captain Bligh's 4,400-mile escape from the mutiny on the Bounty in a replica 25ft open boat, sailing for 48 days from Tonga to West Timor. They had no compasses or charts – or toilet paper – and lived off fish and rainwater. But they have got nothing on Reid Stowe, who arrived in New York in his homemade 70ft schooner after 1,152 days at sea, the longest-ever continuous sea voyage. He never set foot on land, also living off fish and rain. Reid, 58, has now met his two-year-old son Darshen for the first time. His partner Soanya Ahmad left after 300 days because of seasickness but she turned out to be pregnant. There was a big swell.


Number of Japanese sumo wrestlers who have admitted to gambling illegally on baseball. Ozeki sumo Kotomitsuki has been banned for betting and consorting with gangsters who extorted £21,000 from him. He's had a lean time of it.

Child's play of the week

Last week Edge featured Michel Lagravere, the youngest-ever bullfighter at Plaza Mexico, aged 12. Michel killed an 853lb bull before being knocked unconscious by a second one. Let's hear it for Samantha Young of Mosca, Colorado who has been wrestling alligators since she was six (she's alive and well, aged nine). She shows visitors, and even US soldiers, how to nobble 300lb eight-footers at her parents' reptile park. She and Michel could teach the 22-year-old Christian Hernandez a thing or two. He started bullfighting aged 10 but retired after he ran away from a bull at Plaza Mexico – and was arrested for breach of contract. He now wants to be an architect. He will have to learn on the hoof.

Good week for

Colin Montgomerie, had his driving ban overturned after the speed gun operator was found to have also zapped a jogger going at 6mph... Victoria Beckham, WAG will star as Queen Amphitrite in 'SpongeBob SquarePants' cartoon... and Derek Day and Neil Nugent, received Olympic bronze medals 58 years after being left out of the team for Britain's third-place hockey win over Pakistan in Helsinki.

Bad week for

Adrian Mutu, former Chelsea footballer is ordered by the Swiss Federal Court to pay the club around £14m in compensation after he was sacked for cocaine abuse in 2004... Sara Carbonero, Spanish TV presenter is accused of distracting her boyfriend, the goalkeeper Iker Casillas, after Spain's defeat to Switzerland... and the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC, faced protests from the American Literacy Council and Britain's Spelling Society that spelling should be made simpler.

Natural high of the week

If watching England in South Africa has made you want to punish yourself for believing in the dream, you could have gone along to the Bottle Inn at Marshwood, Dorset to take part in yesterday's World Nettle Eating Championships. Competitors are served two-foot long plants and then the stalks are measured at the end; the record stands at 76ft, set by Simon Slee. Or you could just flog yourself with them. Meanwhile in South Africa, "muti" witch doctors claim that you can beat the bookmakers by smoking dried vulture's brains. But the practice is threatening to consign Cape vultures to extinction. If you're struggling to find any, the best bet is to look in the sky above the England hotel.