The OSTAR and TWOSTAR single- and double-handed race across the Atlantic has been decimated by a severe storm that has seen four boats abandoned and six sailors rescued.
The abandonments are: Illumia (Michelle Zambelli), Furia (Michael Kopanov/Dion Zoykov), Happy (Wyste Bouma/Jaap Barendregt) and Tamarind (Mervyn Wheatley).
The sailboats were part of the Royal Western Yacht Club’s Original Single-Handed Transatlantic Race and the Two-Handed Transatlantic Race, but they ran into stormy weather early Friday morning about 1,600 kilometres off Newfoundland.
Sustained Force 12 winds with waves of 10-15 meters (30-50 feet) created a dangerous situation for all of the race participants. In addition to the life-threatening damage to theHappy, Tamarind, Illumia and Furia, the vessels Harmonii and Suomi Kuku suffered torn sails, and the Harmonii was forced to retire from the race.
Race organizer John Lewis said that the weather conditions were the worst “we’ve had over this period.”