A superyacht belonging to a billionaire former US ambassador was allegedly involved in a terrifying near collision with a catamaran captained by a Hollywood screenwriter.
The Baca, owned by former diplomat Kathryn Hall, who is now a renowned winemaker, nearly crashed into the Hobie Cat 16, according to film expert Tim Baker.
Both ships were in La Baie des Fourmis (Ant Bay) on the French Riviera on Wednesday afternoon.
The 43-meter (141-foot) Baca was approaching moorings near Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat around 3 p.m., when it approached the 5-meter (16-foot) Hobie 16, which was sailing, so technically had right of way.
Mr Baker, who was at the helm of the catamaran, said: ‘We were on starboard tack in a light breeze, making the most of our apparent wind.
The Baca is a whopping 43 meters long and can cost up to $195,000 a week to charter, according to one yacht charter company.
The wordsmith said that the Baca was acting aggressively as he rushed at him.
Kathryn Hall (left) was the former US Ambassador to Austria from 1997-2001 and was sworn in under Bill Clinton (right).
“I was aware that the Baca was entering the bay behind us and, as the vessel giving way, I expected her to slow or change course as a precaution, even though we were still well ahead of her and keeping a good margin of safety.
‘But El Baca picked up speed and instead of moving away, he tried to overtake us and pass in front of us.
“We had restricted maneuverability and could do little by way of evasive action except hold our course, otherwise we risked entering the dead zone or being forced to gybe at what was suddenly becoming a pass. uncomfortably narrow.
“Then the Baca blew his fog horn right behind us, which felt more like an act of aggression than a warning.
‘It was as if Baca thought he was overtaking in a channel. It was not only strange, but also very dangerous.
The scriptwriter assured that Baca accelerated towards his catamaran, and almost took him out
Tim says that the Baca was violating maritime laws with its risky maneuvers that may have had disastrous consequences.
Kathryn Hall now works as an award-winning winemaker, producing wine since 2001.
‘Two crew members in the lower levels of the Baca were hanging out on the port side, watching intently as the Baca looked like it was going to crash into us.
I called them in French, but got no answer. One of Baca’s crew members began setting up a ladder over the railing, as if he expected someone to end up drinking!
“When the Baca was about ten meters from our rudder, it finally changed course and slowed, creating a churn on the surface, but we managed to navigate through it and continued on our course.
“It was then that we noticed that the Baca was towing an unmanned dinghy about 30 meters behind her with no flags on the tow line or dinghy, a dangerous practice and another violation of maritime law.
It is currently not known if the former ambassador was aboard the Baca during the terrifying incident.
A week on the Baca can cost up to $195,000, according to yacht charter company Yacht Charter Fleet.
‘Afterwards, the Baca remained motionless for about 20 minutes after our meeting. I guess someone was having a hard drink or throwing a tantrum!’
Mr. Baker was in the Hobie 16 with another experienced sailor and member of the local Beaulieu Yacht Club and Sailing School, Ugo Bolsieri, a retired automotive engineer.
It is not known if Ms. Hall, 76, who served as the US ambassador to Austria from 1997 to 2001, was aboard her yacht, which is frequently chartered.
Yacht charter company Yacht Charter Fleet says chartering the Baca for just one week can cost up to $195,000 (£153,900).
The boat can comfortably accommodate up to 11 people in five cabins, and the charter company says it is: “A one of a kind, offering world-class onboard amenities along with an overflowing toy box filled with the latest in water sports for an unforgettable experience”. yacht charter wherever you are.
Those in charge of the Baca on Wednesday were not immediately available for comment. MailOnline is trying to contact them.