Ross Field, Navigator Team News Corp, 0831 GMT, 02/05/02—"I'm bloody worried. This is dangerous...there are icebergs everywhere. There are growlers floating nowhere near the bergs. We hit a small berg whilst doing 21 knots. I was steering and all I felt was a loud crash on the hull and then the rudder. The guys below then rushed into the bow and checked the interior but we appeared to be OK.
"At one stage, thank god during daylight, we were charging through hunks of ice. I had a man on lookout and directing me through the ice. We brushed when we passed some small bits.
"Its nighttime now and the off watch are huddled in the nav station looking at the radar.
|"We have had a shocking day—broken sails, battens, and halyards. The boat's a shambles."|
Mark Rudiger, Co-skipper/Navigator ASSA ABLOY, 1425 GMT 02/06/02—"We had been running extremely hard all night in over 40 knots averaging over 20 knots boat speed for five hours when suddenly there was a huge unexpected bang! Guillermo [Atladil] did an excellent job controlling the boat in treacherous seas, while all hands wrestled the storm reacher below.
"Wow, so glad we still have the rig up and we are still in the race. This could have been the end for us. But this is definitely the fastest, wildest ride I've ever had in over 200,000 miles spanning 20 years of ocean racing!"
"Nipper [Guy Salter] took a knock to the head and has received stitches above the eye, a nice fix-up job by Jan [Dekker]. Brad Jackson has a badly bruised nose, hopefully not broken.
"I now sit in the nav station looking for ice ahead and black squalls behind. We are constantly hitting speeds of over 27 knots and it feels liken we are on a runaway train.
"The boat is full of wet sails and water and sleeping is almost not an option. 1900 miles to cape horn, will it come soon enough?"
|"Three times we have passed very close to growlers the size of a car....Russian Roulette is probably safer than this."|
"We are the extreme opposite to News Corp, they are 200 miles north of us now, but at the last sked it was only two miles between us. It will be very interesting to see who gets to the [Cape] Horn first."
Paul Cayard, crew Amer Sports One, 0212 GMT, 02/06/02—"The antithesis of Volvo...completely irresponsible. That is how we behaved last night and so did most of the fleet, I imagine. As night approached the winds maintained 35-plus knots…. At the same time, the iceberg and growler count was growing by 10 per hour. We were sailing with one reef and the smallest spinnaker we have, so we felt fairly prudent about that. However, while watching the radar and seeing nothing, we sailed just 100 feet away from a growler that was 10 feet out of water. It was an ominous realisation.
"Very intense in the pitch black with huge, sloppy waves as you get down here. Then 15 minutes later I got a blast of 45 knots for three minutes. This was absolutely crazy. Hanging on until it passed, I told Grant [Dalton] that I could not do my full two hours of that intensity without serious chance of wiping out. I should have said that no one could, but I did not want to speak for the others. That was a mistake—and not using my experience.
"So as the next helmsman prepared to come up I got two more squalls of 45 knots plus. Southern Ocean 45 knots plus. With the temperature down here that is 50-plus everywhere else. I managed to hang on to this beast, which was hurtling through the pitch black of night, doing 30-plus knots at one moment, running into large objects at random (waves that I could not see).
|"What would happen if we did hit an iceberg at 30 knots of boat speed? Maybe News Corp can tell us."|
"All three of us Amer Sports One drivers, have strong cases of tendonitis in our hands now. Three fingers of my left hand are tingling numb constantly. I have lost 50 percent of my grip strength in that hand. Yet on we went. We just wanted to get to daylight and it would all be much easier. We needed about another hour and a half. An hour and a half after I grabbed the wheel I was so happy to give it up. I should have said, let's slow this bus down, we are in great shape, our house is neat and dry, no damage, etc. I failed to say that. So did everyone else.
"Thirty minutes into that last driver, onto our side we went. The gyration was so violent, that downstairs where I was sitting recovering, the engine box cover, which doubles as the companion way stairs, simply left its mount and landed on me. We got up on deck and found that the kite was shredded.
Marcel Van Triest, Navigator, Team SEB (1014 GMT, 02/05/02—"Hopefully we're getting out of this ice now because it's more than I've ever seen."
Steve Hayles, Navigator, Team Tyco, 0825 GMT, 02/05/02—"Please take note that when we start talking about coming back down here in four years' time that we should be locked away until we come to our senses."
Team SEB DismastedWord came from aboard Team SEB shortly after we published this article that the boat had been dismasted on Thursday morning. Between 0630 GMT and 0640 GMT this morning, the boat lost its mast after sustaining a break just above the boom. The crew had to cut the rig free and abandon it, but they managed to keep the boom, which was broken and a spinnaker pole, also broken. The crew is safe and the boat is not damaged; a jury rig has been erected and it will be improved at later stage.
The damage occured while in a 28-knot breeze with the boat going 17 knots, approximately 1250 miles from Cape Horn at approximately 58.12S 106.47W.
In a first message from the boat, skipper Gurra Krantz wrote: "We will await day light to be able to check that nothing is caught on the prop and then start the engine."
Speaking from Sweden, Pelle Norberg, Managing Director for the syndicate company within Team SEB said: "This is of course a very sad situation for us, but the most important thing in a situation like this one is that the crew and boat are safe."
The crew now plan to continue sailing under jury-rig to the closest available port in South America to conduct repairs. The closest boat in the fleet, Amer Sports Too, may be asked to divert its course and render assistance.
For more information, photos, position reports, and updates, log on to the event's official website at www.volvooceanrace.com.
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