Crewman hospitalised after Ecover is turned over

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The Independent Online

A wild gust of wind, which caused Mike Golding’s 40-foot catamaran Ecover to pitch-pole end over end in Kiel, left crewman Bruno Dubois in hospital last night.

The 49-year old Frenchman was injured, received stitches, and was diagnosed with mild concussion after the crew was thrown into the water between races in the fourth of the six international events which make up the iShares Cup.

“We are a man down, the boat is being lifted out of the water and checked, and we will have to rig a spare mast,” said an Ecover spokesman. “The likelihood is that we will not be able to race on Saturday."

Mike Golding said, "He's had a scan and is being kept in overnight for a mild concussion but otherwise he's fine and he tells us he's going to take up bowling so I think he's well.

"It was a very quick capsize, the conditions had been very gusty and none of us were expecting to have a problem like that outside of the race course. We were between races and we had just boarded our guest and were heading back to the start area then a gust of pressure came in, fully downwind, both bows went in and we just pitchpoled very, very quickly.

"All of us were in the water ­ even the experienced Extreme 40 guys were amazed at how fast the boat rotated. When we came up from under the net we saw Bruno had a serious head injury and we were pretty shocked.

We'll right the boat and we have a spare mast here so we will make an assessment of what's here and try and get the boat back out on the race course. We're here to be on the race course so we want to get the programmeback on track."

Back in winning form is the Oman team with Chris Draper at the helm but the second Oman boat, skippered by Loick Peyron, was prevented fromsetting up another one-two for the Middle East by Franck Cammas in Groupama and Peyron was involved in a major collision with the new German team, Wirsol Kiel.

Britain’s double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson was lying 6th at the end of the first day. The other woman skipper, Carolijn Brouwer, has been replaced on Holmatro by Mitch Booth.