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Wild start as Volvo Ocean Racers leave Galway

Jun 8, 2009
Hit by 40-knot gusts as they sailed along the coast of Ireland, Volvo Ocean Racers had difficulty jibing as they got themselves on course for Rotterdam in the eighth leg of the race. Ericsson 4 suffered a complete knockdown, from which they recovered with only minor damage and injuries.

From Sail-World.com:

'We should have been smarter and sailed a little more conservatively, but it's hard when you are charging along right next to first place,' explained Ericsson 4's MCM Guy Salter, who described Ericsson 4's events.

'We made a very big school-boy error and were caught in a huge gust. The boat seemed to accelerate in no time and before we knew it, we had ploughed into the back of the next wave and had white water everywhere.

'This sudden stop also sent us into a spin and we ended up on our side with the kite flapping. We had broken our leeward steering wheel and its cage. Luckily the spinnaker was still intact and all of us were still attached to yacht – just – but with a few extra bumps and bruises.'

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