Aussie Mini sailor Katrina Ham says her boat was smashed to bits and she was left to die by an official Mini-Transat rescue boat two years ago during the stormy and poorly-managed 2013 race. Now that she’s qualified for the 2015 MT, those same organizers have now rejected her entry. Here’s the story, with thanks to Conrad Colman for the heads up. Head over to Katrina’s fundraising page to give her a hand, read more about her story over here, and blow up the MT organizers with the link to this story on Facebook until they quit acting like assholes.
Katrina, 27, from Brisbane has been working for years to get to reach her goal: the Mini Transat. Having moved to France 3 years ago, she lives in a van on the submarine base in Lorient and teaches English to survive. But this is not the first time Katrina has come up against hurdles. After finishing all the qualification requirements and getting to the start in 2013, the race was delayed and the fleet was diverted to northern Spain. During an organised delivery to the re-start, Katrina was taken under tow by an official accompanying boat which towed her into dangerous breaking waves. Her boat was let loose after she was rolled by a wave and she was hurtled into the water. Fortunately she was attached to her boat, but the boat that was towing her was nowhere to be seen. Katrina was discovered by chance by the harbour pilot who ended up swimming for his life as well! While Katrina was eventually brought back to shore, her boat was left drifting, to be smashed to pieces.
Proving that she’s not one to give up, Katrina stayed in France, acquired another mini, and set out to get qualified again. Even though she completed all the requirements again, her entry has been rejected because they organizers want her to pay €2000 for the tracker that was apparently damaged when her boat was lost. Katrina has given the tracker back and has no legal obligation to pay for it but without the means to fight given the time restrictions Katrina’s dream is threatened to be crushed again. It is crunch time at the end of the week, when entries close she either coughs up and gets to race (assuming they accept her and she finds the means to get to the start) or she misses out altogether…..not an easy choice given the circumstances.
Please help Katrina so that she can be on the start line. She won’t win the race, but she has demonstrated for years that she has the skills and mental fortitude to overcome all the challenges ahead of her if she has the means. Please lend a hand and help this young adventurer fight back from the unjust position she has found herself in and succeed in realising her dream and sharing this adventure with you.