These are the days, which are a stern reality check of just what we are doing, and how on the edge it is.
The conditions have slowly been getting stronger and the boat speed has been increasing along with it. The positional reports for most of the day were for sure on the positive side of things.
A sail change was called so it was all crew on deck getting set to drop a sail, boat was dialed down to slow up momentarily when Mike was hit by a wall of water and swept off his feet and solidly into the shrouds, with the full impact being felt by his mouth.
The first I learnt of it was a thud as Mike jumped back in below with a trail of blood behind and the bilge below him turning a deep red.
Trae and Stu Bannatyne our two main medics were very quick to respond in a truly professional way. Procedure was followed perfectly, Volvo, doctors and family all informed and dialogue & photos sent back and forth to the race doctor for advice.
Mike had his front tooth completely smashed out and severed his lip, so was not in his usual good-looking way, that’s for sure.
The lucky thing was he was wearing a helmet, which is not too common, so things potentially could have been a lot worse.
At this stage Will yelled from his Nav station that he had received a message that Puma had lost their rig. I thought it was a bad joke, but no joke is that bad.
Within the space of an hour two very serious events had provided a stark reminder of just how dangerous and on the edge this race can be.
The comforting thing for sure was seeing Trae go about his role as the medic onboard,
Not too many people could suture up an open lip and inject a tooth nerve with anaesthetic on a VO70 in the middle of a South Atlantic low-pressure system. True heroics.
Animal now thinks that with Mike’s injury and Adam looking like a mangy stray cat after his equator crossing, that Salty has taken the crown of CAMPER’S most handsome crewmember. I guess that’s the charm of a good moustache…
Perhaps most amazingly after all the drama, by our reckoning we ended up only losing two miles to Telefonica, and we actually gained 8 miles to Groupama.
Unfortunately there will be no burger recipe today out of respect for Mike, who might be eating through a straw for a small while.
Mike is fine and our thoughts go out to the guys on Puma, and hope they have a safe trip back to port
This is a day to remember for sure, to keep fresh in our minds of what this race and these boats have the potential to do.