Victory mid-bow injured

During training session in Hauraki Gulf

Saturday October 19th 2002, Author: Bert Willborg, Location: Australasia
It happened on Örn during the first sailing days after the first round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Martin Krite was in his usual position in one of the most exposed places on the boat - the bow. The bow hatch slid open and he had an unfortunate fall into the boat, landing on his back. He was lucky, even though he's in great pain at the moment. "I'm planning on being back for the second round", he says.

Martin Krite, midbow, is back at the Victory Challenge base this morning and taking part in the briefing but he won't be working. He's going off to the physio. "I rested nearly all day yesterday", he says.

The mishap happened after ten minutes of sailing, even before the genoa was hoisted. "My first thought was that I was OK, that I'd be able to carry on sailing", says Martin Krite. But he started feeling the pain once he'd been helped up on deck and sat down to rest.

He was taken back to base in Viaduct Harbour on the tender. For safety's sake, there was an ambulance waiting to take him to Auckland Hospital's emergency ward. An x-ray showed there were thankfully no broken bones.

"I could leave hospital after three hours, went to the base for a while and then straight home to rest. It feels like a ruptured muscle, it hurts quite a bit sometimes."

So he's not going to be able to sail for the next few days. But with treatment and rest, he's counting on being back quite soon. "But I won't start sailing again until I'm fully fit."

It's at the bow that most sailing injuries are incurred. This was the third time in two years for Martin Krite. He was hit by a spinnaker boom in Gothenburg during the autumn of 2000 and was taken to hospital to put five stitches in this forehead. In Sète, France, last summer, he got his fingers jammed and had to go to hospital. And he doesn't look too worried this time either. "I'm in good spirits, it shouldn't be too much of a problem getting going again soon."

He has the advantage that Victory Challenge gets one day longer than the other teams to charge their batteries ahead of the second round. Those matches will be starting a day later than planned as the first day, Tuesday October 22, is taken up by the match between the two Italian teams Prada and Mascalzone that was left over after the first round robin.

Just like in that round, Victory Challenge will have a bye on the first day, Wednesday. This means that the competition won't start again for the Swedish America's Cup challenger until Wednesday night/Thursday morning in Europe. The race order will be the same as for the first round, the only difference being the side from which the boats enter the starting box, from the starboard or port side.

Martin Krite was midbow for most of Victory Challenge's eight matches in the first round robin. As a 21-year old, he's also the youngest in the team sailing Örn during the initial phase of the America's Cup.

Despite this fact, he's still one of the longest-serving team members. He was one of around 100 young dinghy sailors that went through a testing programme for keelboat sailing. It took place in preparation for the Swedish America's Cup challenge. Martin Krite, together with Oscar Angervall, Anders Dahlsjö, Johan Karlsson, Oskar Ljung and Henrik Valderyd all have this same background. They were the first to be employed by the Victory Challenge syndicate.

Martin Krite won the junior nationals in Laser 1999 and became national champion in match racing together with Mattias Rahm (brother of Victory Challenge's Stefan Rahm) the same year.

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