Yacht sinks at start of ORC Europeans
Published on May 16th, 2021
The 66th edition of the Regata dei Tre Golfi got underway May 15 with a record fleet of over 110 boats in what was also the first race of the ORC European Championship. But following the 7:00 pm start for the 150nm course, the Salona 37 Le Pelican (above, #16373) sunk near Ventotene after colliding with a tug boat.
At approximately 02:50 CEST, the incident was reported to the Italian with the crew deploying the life raft and all 7 crew boarded safely. The Italian Navy assisted and pulled the entire crew out of the raft and onto their rescue vessel. All crew were then transferred to Naples. No medical attention was requested by the crew of Le Pelican and all crew were reported in good condition.
Le Pelican was entered in the Tre Golfi in Class C as a participant in the ORC European Championship when they disappeared from tracking screens.
“The conditions were particularly challenging, with two-metre waves, and we were sailing upwind on a port tack,” commented a crew member who was on deck at the time of the accident.
“A result of a bad maneuver, in minutes we found ourselves in a critical situation with a cargo barge navigating between Naples and Ventotene just a few metres from us, and at that point a collision was inevitable. We managed to get the life raft into the sea and in just under 3 minutes our boat went under.”
Coincidently, it was the decision of the Organizing Committee to make carrying a life raft on board mandatory, even though this is not a requirement for Category 3 under the World Sailing regulations for safety equipment.
The race course starts off Naples with competitors racing to Ponza before returning to round the Li Galli islets off Positano before crossing the finish line in Capri.
The fleet competing in the ORC European Championship will have until May 17 to complete the offshore race, making their base then in Capri for the second phase of the championship. From May 18 to 20 there are three days of buoy racing with a total of 6 races scheduled, including the offshore to score for the title of ORC European Champion 2021.