Tuesday, 21 April 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLACK LEG SIX DAY 9 QFB: received 19.04.09 2003 GMT

by Fernando Echávarri (skipper)

This was not what you call a normal night. Too many incidents in a few hours. Just after midnight, we had just changed to the A5, when we hit a squall .In the squall we broke the gennaker sheet.

Two hours later we were going full speed, wind 20-22 knots from north east, beam reaching, boatspeed around 21 knots under one reef in main, high clew jib and staysail. Suddenly the boat slowed down to eight knots, and at the same time the boat luffed, came head to wind as the impact was on the keel pointing out 40 degrees to windward, max canting.

Then we bore off, got going again, but sailed slow for a while to inspect what we could see in the darkness of the night. No damage to the boat could be found.

After checking the structure of the boat we started go full speed again and a few hours later the jib halyard bullet broke. Surprising as the fitting is supposed to be ’bullet proof”. We think that the broken fitting could be caused by the previous collision. We spent nearly two hours fixing the problem. David Vera was at the top of the mast twice this morning.

This morning we could not see any damage, except possibly some paint shaved off from forward edge of the keel blade. Now going at full speed. Everybody was of course a bit shocked when it happened. David hit his leg and I fell at the impact and hit my back but now we are fine.

Looks like we had a few black clouds in our path last night. Now we are at full pace, good performance again. All onboard loves the sea and its animals and it has been a real shock for everybody to hit one of them.

Volvo Ocean Race

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