With a mixture of anger and relief, Gunnar Krantz and the crew of SEB ended their 38-day ordeal in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race in Cape Town yesterday. Oblivious to their trials and tribulations, two whales frolicked close to their lime green yacht in the grey-green waters of Table Bay and the sun, missing for the last three days, came out in celebration.
At the root of Krantz's problems was a broken piece of head car equipment at the top of the mainsail. It happened after only a week and they headed for an island near Madeira to pick up a replacement. That put them well to the east of the rest of the field at a time when the weather in the west was paying dividends.
A brief spurt put them in the lead, but they were left behind when that weather system petered out. To add to SEB's problems, as they turned the corner at the Ihla de Trinidade the replacement head car broke as well.
Krantz said it was a mystery why it broke after a similar piece of equipment had been used successfully in training. Asked how he felt about the breakages, he replied: "To say we are angry is an understatement."
Also suffering was the seventh of the eight boats, djuice, with skipper Knut Frostad trying to overcome food shortages. He was due last night, with Lisa McDonald and the all-woman crew on Amer Sports Too expected in the early hours.
That would make eight points for illbruck, seven for Amer Sports One, six for News Corp, five for Tyco, four for Assa Abloy, three for Krantz, two for Frostad and one for McDonald. However illbruck face a protest hearing tomorrow over an alleged rule infringement concerning Internet access.
A second protest claims the crew made modifications, including a weed cutter on the leading edge of the propeller mounting and smoothing of the housing, which do not comply with construction rules.Reuse content