The nightmare is over

Carnage in the Volvo Ocean 60 fleet, but they are now thankfully out of the ice. James Boyd reports

Thursday February 7th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Saved by the strop - Mark Rudiger reports from on board Assa Abloy

Running in a gale with the storm spinnaker and reefed main, we broke a vital part of the runner [running backstay] system. Fortunately a safety strop and quick crew work saved the rig [mast and sails] and this whole project from a near disaster.

We had been running [sailing downwind] extremely hard all night in over forty knots [wind] having averaged over 20 knots [speed] for five hours!!..when suddenly there was a huge unexpected bang! Guillermo [Altadill] did an excellent job controlling the boat in treacherous seas, while all handswrestled the storm reacher below.

The crew is now effecting repairs, which unfortunately means we will be running at reduced speed for a while. It's too bad, because I'm sure we were making some good gains based on the times and positions of iceberg reports from some of the other boats. But at least we'll be able to be up and running on all cylinders soon again.

Wow, so glad we still have the rig up and we are still in the race. This could have been the end for us. But this is definitely the fastest, wildest ride I've ever had in over 200,000 miles spanning 20 years of ocean racing!

[Mark] Rudi Rudiger

A rare moment of sun down south


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