Pump or drown 200 miles from Cape Horn

Volvo Ocean Race yacht Movistar is suffering from a severe leak just 200 miles from Cape Horn.”If we had rats onboard they would have jumped off by now,’ said skipper Bouwe Bekking. “We mobilised some people on deck to drop all the
sails, and when I went downstairs again, I got a real shock. The generator
box was already completely underwater, and the water had spread now
through the entire mid-compartment, and was close to washing over the main
engine box as well. And what a mess inside: sails, sleeping bags, food
bags, you can’t name it, were floating around?it was quite a spectacle.”

All the safety gear was arranged on deck, just to be sure. Bekking added: ‘After seeing the amount of water, I decided to ask headquarters if other boats could assist. Water and electricity don’t like each other too much, so the circuit breakers were popping off all the time. Chris Nicholson was diving underwater to connect the two emergency high capacity bilge pumps directly to the batteries, as that was the only way of assuring power and running of the pumps.’

The boat is back on course for Cape Horn, in an attempt to gain as many points as possible before heading landwards to the Argentine port of Ushuaia, where she will be lifted out of the water to look at the damage suffered.