Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
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Top American mini racer, Jeff McFarlane, had a terrible accident.
He was preparing himself for the next big Transat (1000Nm mandatory with the boat), he had a fast boat, been second on two important international races and took a big risk while making those mandatory 1000Nm.
He took the boat to the middle of a depression near Menorca. Maybe he was not familiar with the med where sometimes 35K are a lot worse there than on the Atlantic (the old Navy French sailors called the Med the bitch – “la garce” ).
Lost the mast, capsized, damaged the boat and broke a hand. He was recovered just before night fall by a Spanish helicopter.
The boat was rescued but without an extra help the chances to see an American top sailor winning the Big Transat will not happen. The boat needs expensive repairs.
A translated article in an Italian Magazine (Giornale de la vela)
“During the navigation of 1000 miles in the Mediterranean that he needed for the qualification to the next Mini Transat, American Jeff McFarlane has risked big, running into a depression off the coast of Menorca with wind gusts to 35 knots. His Mini 6.50 (a prototype of Lombard) was capsized and lose the mast also damaging the keel.
Jeff, that we know very well in Italy because in March he participated in the Arciplelago 6.50 paired with Marco Nannini, and the Italian Grand Prix, with Andrea Fornaro, finishing in second place on both occasions, was rescued by a helicopter. It came out with a broken hand and with the feeling that he had been lucky ...
Giornale della Vela - Gli Speciali | Naufragio Jeff e il sogno spezzato della Mini Transat Durante la navigazione di 1000 miglia in Mediterraneo che stava affrontando per ottenere la qual
Jeffrey MacFarlane | Facebook
He says (translated from the French):
“ ... ". A few hours later, at lunch time, when the wind was blowing around 35 knots, under three reefs in the mainsail and small jib, the prototype had problems. "It all happened very quickly without having time to understand what was going on," "The mast fell and the boat suddenly was lying before going into a spin with two full turns. Then one of the elements that kept the keel box crushed my hand. "The boat has suffered failures in the deck, keel and mast. "I was reassured to see the boat still floated but everything was upside down with plenty of water to bail, said Jeffrey MacFarlane.
"I wanted especially to keep my mind busy and not to think about the damage and pain in my hand. "After issuing a Mayday, the sailor was busy rigging and securing the boat until nightfall.
As he prepared to spend the night on board a helicopter of the Spanish coast guard come down to him to pull him and taken him to hospital. The boat was recovered the next morning 15 miles from the island of Menorca. "I am disappointed because I was close to the goal," said Jeffrey MacFarlane us.
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