Fall aboard Roxy causes injuries

Vendee Globe, non-stop, solo,round-the-world yachtswoman Sam Davies blacked out after a fall while stowing sails aboard her Open 60 Roxy.

Here is her report: ‘I hurt myself last night, during the manoeuvres through the front. Am rather sore today, as a result. I was stacking everything, ready for my gybe, and at the time I was stacking a spinnaker in the aft section, under the cockpit. Unfortunately, as I was pulling on it, a sail-tie broke, and I went flying backwards, landing my elbow into a winch transmission box – a nice solid corner. It hurt SO much that everything went black, and I passed out! I woke up lying on my back, under the cockpit. The elbow was throbbing, from my fingertips to my shoulder. I could move it thankfully, but the pain made me sick. Because of these reactions, I called Jean-Yves Chauve, the race doctor, and he told me which (nice strong) painkiller to take.

‘The problem was – I had to gybe! I lay down for as long as possible (for the painkiller to work), and summoned my strength. I managed the gybe! Luckily the wind had dropped in the cold front but I had kept small sails, so the manoeuvre was easy. Since then, Jean-Yves has helped me check the elbow by telephone to confirm that it is just a nasty big bruise, nothing more serious. My elbow is so SORE, but I know it will get better, so there is no worry.

‘He said that the reason for my rather severe reaction to the shock is probably because I’m not eating enough – and I must try harder to balance the energy I use each day with enough nutrition. I need 6000 calories per day out here in the cold south. The annoying thing now is that eating is a movement that really hurts my arm – ironically! So, I will maybe try eating left-handed, although that is a sure way to ensure that I will be mostly “wearing” my dinner rather than consuming it – especially in this sea-state! I can already hear you asking – YES – the winch transmission box is fine I didn’t do it any damage!’