While several boats competing in the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge have sustained damage since last Sunday's start off New York, over the last 48 hours it has been the turn of their crews.The injured crewman, reported yesterday on Peter Harrison's Sojana, was Mal Parker, a highly experienced sailor and the upwind trimmer for Harrison's GBR Challenge in the last America's Cup.
At 1100 GMT on Friday, the crew was in the process of reefing a headsail when Parker's left arm was pulled into a winch, breaking it in two places. Parker had his broken arm splinted and immobilised, as Sojana immediately ceased racing and turned to make for the island of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon to the south of Newfoundland.
"Mal was transferred to a hospital ashore, where the arm was x-rayed, and he was given morphine for pain relief," wrote Sojana's skipper Marc Fitzgerald. "The arm will require surgery to pin the broken bones, which cannot be done at the facility in Saint-Pierre, so he will fly today to Montreal to undergo surgery there, before returning home to Tasmania to recuperate.
" Parker is being accompanied by Sojana's navigator Graham Sunderland. Since then, Sojana has asked the Race Committee permission to rejoin the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge, and this has been granted. This morning, they were rounding Cape Race, the southeasternmost tip of Newfoundland.
On Friday, aboard the race's on-the-water leader Maximus, Bill Buckley--the Kiwi sloop's co-owner and one of New Zealand's most prominent engineers--took a fall, dislocating his shoulder. The crew was forced to sail downwind in the opposite direction to the course for some hours while on-board medics relocated the limb. While Mari-Cha IV's crew spent Thursday making repairs to the boat's rig, Maximus's co-owner Charles Brown revealed that his crew, too, has been experiencing its share of technical problems with the brand new boat.
"While running at up to 30 knots under full main and fractional gennaker, the switch for the canting keel failed during the gennaker drop, causing the keel to cant to the wrong side. Fortunately, our back-up keel control system allowed us to remedy a potentially dangerous situation for the boat and crew.
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