In the early hours of Monday 27th November, Jens Kellinghusen’s German Ker 56 Varuna was leading the charge north of the rhumb line in the RORC Transatlantic Race – the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta – and estimated to be leading the race after IRC time correction.
On the YB Tracker, Varuna was observed to turn back towards the Canary Islands and contacted the RORC Race team to report that they had a structural problem.
“Crewman, Michi Mueller reported a problem on the starboard bow at 0520 GMT on Monday 27th November. Varuna was in 20 knots of wind, close hauled in two metre seas,” commented Varuna’s navigator, Mike Broughton via satellite phone. “We immediately bore away to ease the slamming on the hull and turned the boat downwind. There was water ingress on the starboard bow and we readied our liferafts and grab bags and contacted the RORC Race Team to report the problem. Meanwhile our two boat builders on board fixed a carbon floorboard over the problem area and held it in place with two perpendicular struts, which is holding very well. We are very disappointed to retire from the race and we are heading back to Lanzarote – all crew are well on board.”