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GNHounsfield.org

A site about Godfrey Hounsfield

The other boat was captained by Brian Pullen with several others on board, including lan Isherwood the Professor of Radiology at Manchester University Medical School. A course for the race was decided such that we left the jetty and were to go down about half a mile towards the sea. Godfrey immediately took charge and made a number of calculations on a hand calculator taking into account the direction of the wind, the width of the harbour and the optimum angles at which we would have to tack backwards and forwards across it to reach our goal. Impressed by all this science the rest of us sat back and waited for things to happen. Dave King, however, was not one to sit back and tried as best he could to push things along, hanging over the side to look for obstructions and the like.

Both boats set off and we set a course at an angle of about 45 degrees across the harbour to make best use of the wind and, once near the opposite shore, turned to follow another 45 degree course to the other side. By this time we had noticed that the other boat was nowhere near us and it took a little time to find it amongst the many other small craft scattered around on the water. We eventually spotted it on the other side of the harbour to which we were slowly tacking but we could see that it would reach the point to which we were aiming well before we would! The rival crew, under the direction of an eminent professor of physics, had decided that they would not be caught up in any of this "tacking" nonsense. They had merely gone to the harbour jetty that ran along one side and pulled themselves along the wall, aided by a long length of netting hanging down over it! As a result they got to the finishing line before we did demonstrating a triumph of practicality over scientific method. After all no one had actually defined what the rules were other than that the first past the post would win. I must say that I have looked back on this incident on a number of occasions and pondered the similarity between the action of competitors to the EMI-Scanner and Godfrey's insistence on playing everything by the best scientific rules.

We had spent five days hard at work during the meeting and on the Saturday of that week we decided that we deserved some relaxation. Bermuda is a beautiful place but none of us had seen much of it so we headed for Hamilton and its harbour where, following some talk during the week, it was planned to hire some sailing boats and enjoy a pleasant sail in the harbour. This jaunt had come about because of some jocularity between Godfrey Hounsfield who, apparently, knew a bit about sailing and Brian Pullen the professor of Physics at Manchester University Medical School who also fancied himself as a sailor. The plan was to hire two sailing boats and have a race between an EMI crew and a crew of some of the medical and scientific delegates to the meeting. In the EMI boat we had five people. They were Dave King, his wife, Bob Froggat, myself and Godfrey Hounsfield as the captain. I never have liked boats of any kind so I went along under sufferance and also did manage to take a few photographs.

Additions page 1  - Sailing in Bermuda in 1975

From an unpublished history of the EMI-scanner by Eddie Gowler

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