Damian Foxall - one lucky Irishman


 
Foncia's crewman describes their capsize and how he was clobbered by the boom
This morning from his hospital bed in Brest, northwest France, Foncia co-skipper Damian Foxall recounted his near-death experience during the capsize of his and Armel Le Cleac'h's trimaran in the early hours of yesterday morning. So what happened? "It was a windy start. We had a fast reach [from Le Havre] out to Cherbourg. Then it was upwind so we stayed in contact and tacked down past Ouessant to try and get further south away from the most active part of the front. When we tacked down on to port, we were quick to reduce sail. We were sailing very close to Geant so we could see how we were progressing against them and we were really conservative always with at least one reef less than Geant. And in actual fact it paid for us, because we took 10 miles out of him over that evening period. I think some of their changes were costing them more because they were doing them later. So we were sailing conservatively and correctly and I think that is what helped us to be where we were." We pause for a moment as a nurse changes a bandage to the occasional groan of excruciating pain from Foxall. "And then the wind died from 35-40 knots to 20 for a period, but we still kept our three reefs in and the ORC up because we knew the most active part of the front was coming. We actually wanted to tack early because the front was coming towards us so we didn’t feel the need to go looking for it." Foxall says they had been advised that the second cold front was "very active" with gusts of up to 50. This was subsequently moderately slightly by their weather router to 45. "It wasn’t anything that we didn’t expect.

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