Velux gets more 'fresh air' than it bargained for

Velux, the roof window company, sponsored the 5 Oceans Race because they wanted to be associated with ‘fresh air’. However they didn’t bargain on getting 60 knots worth through the rafters: four of the six Velux 5 Oceans yachts have been temporarily knocked out of the race because of heavy weather damage.

Alex Thomson (GBR) was the first boat to stop racing and make it
back to land, arriving in Gijon onboard his battered Hugo Boss to deal
with headsail and furler problems.

Spain’s Unai Basurko on Pakea sustained rents to headsail and mainsail and reported problems with the stability of her mast. Basurko was heading back to Puerto Deportivo (Gexto), the start point of the Velux 5 Oceans, but may attempt to make port somewhere closer along the coast.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has suffered damage to his yacht Saga Insurance and is sailing towards La Coruna, Spain to carry out urgent repairs to his mast track and communications systems, damaged from a knockdown.

Britain’s Mike Golding on Ecover is also being forced to make a pit stop in
La Coruna, Spain, after suffering damage to three of
the mainsail batten boxes, which retain the forward end of the mainsail
battens and connect them to the mainsail track on the mast.Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm aboard Cheminees Poujoulat (see picture) and Japan’s Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh are the only boats left in the race.

David Adams, Race Director, comments, “The main problem is that you can’t
slow these Formula 1 boats down and they simply crash on through – it is
bone breaking action! We were expecting strong winds of 40 knots, but none
of the weather models or advisors predicted 60 knots. I spoke to each of the
teams and their weather advisors before they left Bilbao and none of the
skippers had concerns about leaving on Sunday.” See the race website: