Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Skipper Ken Read, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, on leg 9 from Marstrand to Stockholm. Image copyright Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Kenny Read
The start of this leg was madness. The number of boats on the water watching, the starting line pinned up against the rocks, the crowd of people on the rocks watching, the conditions- which went completely flat half way up the first beat. Then...THE COLLISION. Telefónica Blue with THE ROCK. Enough to make you sick to your stomach watching. A grotesque sight that you never want to see or be part of.
We were following about 10 boat lengths behind Telefónica Blue in second place heading south when it happened. Capey (Andrew Cape – navigator) was sitting next to me and saying that we were going to have to come up or down in the near future. We were going about 13 knots. And then...BANG. Their entire transom came out of the water right in front of us. I said to Capey, ‘UP OR DOWN!’ To which he said, ‘UP!!!’ We climbed off the stricken boat by about three lengths and made it through.
The bottom line is that no one wants to see something like that happen and for sure we are thrilled that no one was hurt. We hope they get back in the race by Stockholm. It just isn't the same without the entire fleet together for the finish in St Petersburg.
That's it for now. More of a report of the racing later.
Volvo Ocean Race