Matteo Miceli and Tullio Picciolini were rescued yesterday by a cargo ship about halfway across the Atlantic, cutting short their attempt to break the Dakar to Pont-A-Pitre transatlantic beach cat record set by Moreau and Lequin in 2007 (at just under 11 and a half days). Here’s some video of their boat, and here’s a translation Picciolini’s rescue report:
Night of January 17th: One-hour shifts at the helm to keep alert. Two reefs in the main and jib to maintain a high safety margin in the tough conditions with waves on the beam. 22-25 knots of wind from behind, with good visibility and light from the moon. During my turn at the helm I see a squall line chasing us down, and call Matteo to reduce main further. Just as we began reefing, wind picked up suddenly with gusts to 35 knot. The beam seas didn’t allow us to go head to wind, and the catamaran capsized. Our first attempt to right ended with a broken mast, and we began the long work of securing the boat and righting the boat – about 12 hours worth. Ground crew was periodically informed of the situation, and when we realized that it was impossible to get the boat moving again, at 1130 GMT we called in our Mayday.