That Sinking Feeling


A chapter from the book Voices from the Sea by Nic Compton - movistar's loss during the Volvo Ocean Race
The signs were all there. Despite recurring problems with her keel, movistar carried on sailing in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race, even at one point reaching an impressive third place. Then, while crossing the Atlantic and 300 miles from land, she began to sink. And this time it was serious. That Sinking Feeling Bouwe Bekking (2006) We are sinking! Everybody up! Slow the boat down, the water is coming in very fast, and close the water tight hatches. These words greeted the crew of movistar, the Spanish entry in the 2005Ð06 Volvo Ocean Race, in the early hours of 2 March, 2006 not what you want to hear from your skipper as you are approaching Cape Horn in the middle of a round-the-world yacht race. movistar was on the fourth leg of the race from New Zealand to Rio de Janeiro, when the keel box containing the keel mechanism started to leak. By the time the alarm was raised, both the generator and the engine were underwater, and fuses were popping all over the place, disabling those all-important bilge pumps. Meanwhile, the cabin was awash with sails, sleeping bags, food, and other debris, creating a scene that Dutch skipper Bouwe Bekking likened to something Hitchcock could only dream of. "A sailors nightmare is sinking," he reported to race headquarters, "and this looks like a pretty serious situation. If we had rats on board, they would have jumped off by now." Thanks to the quick thinking of crew member Chris Nicholson, who dived underwater to connect the emergency bilge pumps directly to the batteries, the boat was slowly pumped out, and a few hours later the crew was able to make an emergency repair. Two days later the yacht pulled into Ushuaia in southern Argentina to make a more permanent fix and to allow them

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