After the fleet of the Ostar and Twostar had worked its way into the middle of the North Atlantic, they had to fight a low last weekend that swept over the sailors with 60 knots and 15-meter waves.
The extreme conditions triggered a number of emergencies at sea in the very heterogeneous field of participants and decimated it to such an extent that only eight of the originally 21 yachts started sail towards the finish line off Newport / Rhode Island: six in the Ostar classification, two in the Twostar - Uwe Röttgering and AsiPaikowsk are still in the lead with Class 40 "Rote 66".
Three epirbs were triggered during the storm and caused the Canadian coast guard from Halifax to send rescue cruisers and helicopters to the victims. Among them was the "Tamarind", a Formos42 by Ostar veteran Mervyn Wheatly. The "Queen Mary 2" rescued the 73-year-old Wheatly, the luxury liner had been asked for help by the rescue control center.
The fleet of the Ostar / Twostar 2017, as of June 12th: Only a few yachts are left in the race
An SAR helicopter came to the aid of the Italian skipper Michele Zambelli, who, after problems with the keel of his Class 950 "Illumia", climbed into the life raft and activated the Epirb. The Canadian rescuers brought him to Newfoundland.
Keith Walton got off a little less lightly with his Najad 490 "Harmonii": With a damaged mainsail, he is currently motoring back towards the Azores. The Briton Peter Crowther also gave up the race after problems with the sail and set course for Great Britain.
Kass Schmitt, the only woman in the Ostar field, had to give up because of problems with the energy supply and the wind control system, and went to Ireland.
The leader of the Ostar fleet and winner of the last Ostar in 2013, AndreMura, has called into Halifax for a technical stop at anchor.
Among the Twostar crews, the Sun Fast 37 "Happy" was hit hardest: She broke her mast in the storm. The Dutch crew Wytse Boumund Jaap Barendregt were rescued by a deep-sea tug.
A research ship came to the rescue of a Bulgarian crew consisting of Mihail Kopanov and Dian Zaykov and took the two sailors on board. Your Luffe 37.09 sank in the storm.
You can find the race tracker here.