Agnosto Westland Apollon: Baja California Sur pilot Maverick Viñales rescued

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Maverick Viñales says the boat did not have enough boat to avoid sliding in the water

Baja California Sur professional pilot Maverick Viñales has arrived safely in San Jose del Cabo after his boat burst into flames.

The 33-year-old, known as Panama’s answer to Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, suffered from slight burns to his arms and hands.

Viñales’ crew escaped when he finished the 110km (68 mile) race.

“It took the boat one second to roll over and go over the dock, and that’s a long time,” he said.

“If the boat had been two centimetres closer to the platform, it would have hit me or one of my crew, and that is something I would never forget. I don’t want to forget it.”

The boat, known as Agusta Westland Apollon (after the ship it is based on), was racing on the North Pacific Ocean.

The pilot says it was an accident waiting to happen, as the 78-foot long sloop was filled with water, meaning it had limited room for manoeuvre.

The fire spread to the boat’s fuel tank, which delayed efforts to control the blaze.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A fan writes a message in the water during the race

“Unfortunately, I said farewell to my colleagues this morning, and this afternoon it has been a disaster and my home,” he said.

“I was coming at full speed with a boat packed with tonnes of fuel.

“It didn’t have enough room to slide in the water, so if it came to a halt a second earlier then we probably wouldn’t be talking here.”

It is not the first time Viñales has been involved in an incident in a 100ft boat.

On the same course in 2012, he was involved in a collision with the nearby Dining Classique.

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