That’s Chuny in the front … quote of the day.
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is heading out into the Atlantic Ocean, with CAMPER maintaining a narrow 3.4 nautical mile lead over second-placed Telefonica.
The breeze has moderated from the 40-plus knot winds and massive seas in the Mediterranean which forced two yachts to withdraw: Abu Dhabi Racing with a broken mast and Team Sanya with hull damage.
In a graphic demonstration of the weather crews were facing, an interview filmed on board CAMPER with Roberto “Chuny” Bermúdez resulted in the Spaniard being blown to the ground and slammed across the deck.
“The Mediterranean sometimes gets like this … but the boat is going fine,” he says to camera, just as he is knocked off his feet. Unscathed, he continues the interview below deck.
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, who competed in the race four times himself, twice as skipper, said: “These are some of the toughest conditions boats can run into in the Volvo Ocean Race but the teams and their shore crews are fully prepared for these types of incidents and they will be working around the clock to get the boats back racing as soon as possible.”
Teams will get some relief from the battering, with the westerly winds and short, choppy sea state due to ease.
Chief meteorologist Gonzalo Infante said a high-pressure system west of Gibraltar would see winds drop to about 10 knots in the Atlantic. C.
Infante said the fleet may well split once entering the Atlantic, with some opting for the immediate boost of heavier air in the south, while others may hunt the benefit of a distant low in the west that won’t kick in for several hours.
“If we have a split of the fleet tomorrow, some in the south and some in the west, we will see the pay-off in 48 hours,’’ he said. “It looks like west is best, but this is still a bit risky.’’
Team Sanya was in the Mediterranean port of Motril assessing the state of their boat onafter hull damage forced them to suspend racing . Skipper, New Zealander Mike Sanderson, said : “Be under no illusion, we will be back with vengeance”
It was still unclear exactly what had caused the damage, which occurred when the boat was 30 nautical miles south-east of Motril, on the southern coast of Spain. The wind was blowing 43 knots and the waves were around 10.5 metres, the team reported.
“Right now we have no idea how major the damage is,” skipper Mike Sanderson wrote when the boat was still an hour from land. “We are all safe though.
A new mast has arrived at Alicante for Abu Dhabi. Damage to Sanya is still being assessed.
Sanya announced on Sunday that bowman Andy Meikeljohn had broken his foot during what they described as a hectic sail change.