Volvo Race Accident


I feel your pain.


It’s obvious that they were traveling at an unsafe speed.

And right up there with an Italian cruise ship doing ‘flybys’ to impress the crowd.


Here is a better shot of the chart. The orange boat is Vestas just after the collision while she is doing a S&R pattern and drifting down wind. She is in international waters, about 45m of depth, 10NM from the outer sea buoy and 20NM from the TSS.

It is hard to argue that she was travelling at safe speed, since the collision obviously occurred. What we don’t know is what caused the collision. Speculation on the web is that the fishing boat had AIS but was not using it. I think the mystery is whether or not the fishing boat was displaying any lights and why Vestas wasn’t using radar.


Do they even see fit to put radar on these racing boats that have such a tight weight budget? If so, would anybody know how to use it? And… the lack of radar or AIS info does not excuse what another has posted, it’s idiotic, unprofessional, and negligent to have a race in a high traffic area.



I would guess there is probably 50+ fishing boats not shown in this graphic on the eastern approach area. It can be a frigging nightmare.


Ocean racing is a very expensive high risk sport. The guys that run these sponsored ocean racing boats are very experienced and highly skilled. There is a strong safety culture, but also a high tolerance for risk. That is the nature of this high risk, highly competitive sport.


That’s right, it’d be a mistake to lump these ocean racers into the same category as the WAFIIs encountered on a sunny weekend day.


The Volvo race is moved a long way from its beginnings as the Whitbread race. The original yachts offered showers and a cook. The present ones are a semi furnished sewer pipe. A curtain around the throne room, pipe cots and a single gimbaled burner to eat freeze dried food are offered. In return the crew get to experience to me the doubtful pleasures of helming a yacht at speeds in excess of 30 knots in the Southern Ocean. The original race followed the same route around the world as The windjammers and there was little contact with fishing fleets but these days the sponsors call the shots.
The crew are professionals that move to other events including the America’s Cup and a few have made millions from their involvement.