Yachting World November 2011

Yachting World November 2011

My amazing day covers both meanings of the word ‘amazing’: good, but tragic too. It was 18 May 2006, the penultimate leg of the Volvo Ocean Race-the transatlantic from Annapolis to Portsmouth -and ABN AMRO One, with Mike Sanderson at the helm, was just about to win the 2005-6 Volvo Ocean Race with four legs to spare.

It  was particularly important for me as it was my first ever Volvo involvement and my designs had proved themselves during this epic race.

I woke early to catch a flight from Valencia to Portsmouth for the leg finish and see Sanderson and his team win. It was very exciting. But before I went to the airport I logged onto my computer to check the race position updates on the tracker. It was about 05:00 and when I opened the tracker I could see something odd had happened because there were a few missing updates.

On one you could see ABN AMRO One. leading the fleet by 200 miles, but Pirates of the Caribbean was well back in the fleet, which caused me concern. I tried to work out what was going on, then received confirmation. A sudden shot of adrenalin passed through my body as the shock hit.

The world had been turned upside-down.