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  1. Geir Ove Bø
    Feb 24, 2013 @ 22:06

    Slim Retires from the Caribbean 600
    Well it all started great, winds were high with a steady blow of 22-24kts True, we decided to play it safe and sail with our first reef in, (reduced mainsail area). We timed our start to perfection and were the first boat to cross the start line in the Caribbean 600 2013. We began our march upwind, a Custom racing trimaran based on a Orma 60 soon over took us (to be expected) and then next was Phaedo who quickly shook out her reef and slowly started to reel us in. Unwilling to over stress Slim as we wanted to arrive a week later in St.Maarten for our Boss’ arrival to race Heineken Regatta, we kept the reef in and were soon over taken by Phaedo. We then rounded the Northern side of Antigua and all Phaedo’s training payed off as they executed the their sail change very efficiently and started to accelerate away.
    Eventually we got our sail combo together and we gave chase, Slim was flying, we were in absolute sailing perfection. The windward hull was kissing the water as we flew along in the lower 20’s kt range. Ana quickly made some lunch and we all quickly got down a little food, in preparation for the next leg when all of a sudden Slim just rounded up. All sails were flogging like a flag in a gale force wind. Nothing we could do would bring her round. I shouted to Dave and Ana to check the rudder blades and they replied with confirmation of what I feared, both blades were blown out. Completely disintegrated. The remaining portions had exploded in between the rudder bearings so we were unable to either push out or pull up the pieces to remove them and insert our one spare rudder blade.
    We then pulled out our small head sail and dragged a long tow line to the Lee side of the boat and then between the ropes resistance for steerage and playing gently with the engines we were able to limp back to to Jolly Harbour, Antigua. Where we docked for the night and then attacked the debris early this morning with power tools. We slotted in the new blade and have since returned to Falmouth Harbour were the race began.
    Lucky for us we had Dave, the head designer from Morrelli & Melvin on board, and he’s taken this and already redesigned the blades and the installation method in his head. Having been onboard and seen them explode in use was beyond valuable feed back for a designer. So he’s taken the opportunity to ensure we come out of this experience stronger and better prepared for any regatta we take on next, but more importantly for the long distance cruising we’ll be doing in Slims exciting future.
    We’ll make some more jury rig set-ups to Slim and then slowly sail back to St.Maarten in a few days where we’ll get Slim squared away to be back to sailing safe again. This allows Slim to keep on her sailing schedule and also allows Dave to design us the perfect set-up with time to spare.
    We’re down, but not out. We’re just taking the count on the knee and then we’ll get up again.


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