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Det var på en Ker 53 at danskerne fik problemer, indtil de blev reddet af en stor RIB i Middelhavet.

Martin Kirketerp blogger om knækket rorstamme

Martin Kirketerp, Jesper Feldt og Ulrik Andreasen kæmpede forleden på en Ker 53 i Middelhavet, da rorstammen knækkede i sejladsen 900 Nautique St. Tropez i 50 knobs vind. Kirketerp forklarer nu.

Af Troels Lykke |

Martin Kirketerp, OL-guldvinder i 49er og Volvo Ocean Race-sejler fra Aarhus, skriver på www.martinkirketerp.com:

I dont really know where to start on this blog to be honest. I am probably just gonna go straight to the drama.

So we where leading by a long way and things were looking flash for us. Weather forecast was pretty rough, by the time we were getting to the bottom of Sardinia.

We prepped the boat the best we could for severe weather. The breeze picked up heavily during night and we ended up with less and less sail.

Sailing was super cool, riding some big waves. But we where just trying to nurse the boat, racing in 50 knots is survival of the boat and the no injuries to the crew. 

When morning came we where only using storm jib and no mainsail, sailing TWA (true wind angle) 135 degress.

It felt like to little sail, we got slammed around pretty hard with not to much control, since the boatspeed was to slow. So we peeled to the J4, and that felt a lot smother. Still no main and around 50 knots of windspeed.

I spend a lot of hours behind the wheel that night. Good experience. Rudder felt fine, didnt feel like a lot of pressure at all, and we are just riding the waves downwind in whatever direction they took us.
Baaaam, they sound of disaster. I was driving so I knew exactly what had happened, since I lost rudder control and the boat steered hard into the wind. My jib trimmer got slammed into to the lifelines hanging in his harness.

Everyone had stayed on board, so I flew straght down into the laz, to see if things were equally bad as my last rudder brake incident with water getting in.

Last time I was in a similay situation was with Sanya in the Southern Ocean on leg 5 of the Volvo.
The good news is that I cannot see water coming in. I spend some time to look for cracks and all that stuff but from where I am she looks dry.
We got the drogue out and the helped a lot for stability. From there on there was not much we could do in those conditions except to work on looking out for the boat.
We ended up being picked up by the Coastguard of Italy. Jumping from our boat to there chaseboat, and then in for dryland.
The whole crew acted very well. No panic or no dramaes. Nobody thought it was very funny obviously, but people were very cool. No place for a dramaqueen in those situations.
This was for sure a good lesson in seamanship, some experience that is hard to get by reading a book. Keep the boat afloat and you be fine eventually, that still goes a long way.

Thoughts went back to Sanya where Richard Mason and Mike Sanderson was in charge of keeping the boat safe, with me being the nipper and just doing whatever I was told.

Opposite this time around when I had some experience in breaking rudders, which was a step up in responsibility.

That was a super experience that I hope never to get to use again, because it wasnt a fun 24 hours drifting around without rudder in gust up to 57 knots, and the boat taking more and more beatings in the waves.
Nice to be back onshore and relax with a little exam coming up on monday, guess what my weekend is gonna be like…