The DVT offshore risk


Medical student Toni Bull describes her Rolex Fastnet Race with a twist
While the Rolex Fastnet Race may be somewhat of a distant memory for competitors as we now move into autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, for one sailor, the resulting impact on her body is still being managed on daily basis. Antonia (Toni) Bull was to find herself in Torquay Accident and Emergency a week after the finish, being discharged several hours later diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) behind her knee. DVT is more commonly associated with long haul air travel in a cramped economy class cabin – not offshore yacht racing. All the more surprising in Toni’s case is that she is a young active, experienced sailor, who also happens to be in her final year as a medical student at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Toni started racing Cadets at the age of eight and started in keelboats at University and more recently regularly racing on a Farr 52. She also has a BSc in Sports Medicine. Her account of DVT is a must read for any offshore sailor: This year I completed my first Fastnet race. I was on a Farr 52 and we finished on the Wednesday evening after three and a half days at sea. The race was great, hard work but well worth the effort, our team had its fair share of breakages and problems, but achieved a very good result despite little preparation time. After leaving the boat I travelled back to Brighton. By Friday, five days after the start, I had developed an ache in my calf. Over the next few days it got worse; I assumed it was a pulled muscle and carried on walking (lots) and driving. The following Wednesday I headed down to Torquay for the J-Cup. By this time my leg was pretty sore, but, as most medics would, I continued to

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