Black and Blue

Black and Blue

Telefonica Black moored in Subic Bay, Luzon Island, Philippines, after
retiring from leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race with structural damage.
Ya think
maybe Telefonica Blue is just a bit nervous? See below. Photo: Mikel Pasabant/Telefonica Black/Volvo Ocean Race.

Delta Blues: Team Delta Lloyd, sailing in fourth position, was forced to head to Taiwan with structural damage. During his routine check, David Pella from Spain discovered a crack in the bow bulkhead, that gives the hull its strength. The bow also showed delamination. At that moment, it blew 30 knots along with big waves. A few hours earlier, the mainsail got torn again. All of this resulted in the inevitable decision to take shelter. In about 5 hours, Team Delta Lloyd hopes to arrive in Keelung City in the northeast of Taiwan.

“We are very disappointed, as we really wanted to do well in this leg. But Chuny doesn’t take any risk in terms of the crew’s safety, which is definitely the best conclusion he can draw from the situation”, explained Media Crew Member Sander Pluijm (NED). “At the time we discovered it, we were sailing under storm jib and with three reefs in the main. Especially with the cold Chinese weather coming up, it was irresponsible to continue racing. We informed the coast guard and put the safety procedure into operation.” The crew has not officially suspended racing so far and awaits further inspection in Taiwan. There is no immediate danger, but regarding the rough and later freezing circumstances it is too risky to carry on.

Pluijm: “Due to the delamination, the hull is absorbing water, which softens the bow that might break by wave slamming. That is the biggest risk now.” Therefore the crew closed the water tight bow compartment. “And the pumps are ready to use, so we won’t sink”, said Pluijm.