• Red Retires From Bermuda Hamberg Race

    ED Retiring From Race After Hitting An Object (All Crew Safe)
    Class 40 RED was on their way for repairs in the Azores, when they hit something in the water.

    At 07:07pm UTC, Mathias Müller von Blumencron, Skipper of Class 40 RED, contacted the Race Committee to inform about the incident.

    AAR Race Officer Stefan Kunstmann comments:

    "At present, we believe that both the crew and the boat will be able to handle the situation, however we have increased tracking frequencies to highlight any problems as early as possible. Maritime Rescue Authorities have also been informed about the incident, which will reduce the time for potential support to reach the boat should the need arise.

    Facts as of 08:00pm UTC on July 14, 2018:

    - Red hit an object/subject, most likely a whale
    - A part of the stern section has been damaged
    - The ingress of water could be stopped by sealing the stern compartment
    - After an inspection of the damage, the crew decided to continue sailing
    - The forecast is showing decreasing breeze and reaching conditions
    - The damage will require serious repair, which will take a few days in Horta, Azores. RED therefore retires from the race
    - the Race Committee will monitor the progress closely, and liaise with Rescue Authorities for immediate action should any be necessary"

    Mathias Müller von Blumencron writes, very calmly, about the incident:

    "This story is so unbelievable, but it sadly happened just two hours. RED hit a whale and we got massive damage on our stern.

    I was helming, we just were dealing with a little squall. We were running under our kite, 10 to 12 knots. Suddenly a huge whale came through the surface, just a boat length ahead of us. It was slowly moving across our course from port to starboard and just lifting his big fin ahead of us. I still could luff instinctively and thought I had managed to drive safely around the big animal. Shawn, who was with me on deck and in the watch saw his fin as well, passing on the starboard side. In this moment we experienced a huge bang at our starboard rudder and the steering was immediately affected. The whale must have tried to slap us with his fin or there was a second animal, which we hit.

    A quick look revealed, that the impact tore out a big part of our stern, where the rudder was attached. This was our good rudder, after we had already contact with an object with the other rudder and for this reason were on the way to the Azores.

    We took down the sails immediately and pulled out the rudder, so that it would not rip out the whole stern section. Water was rushing into our stern comparetemen, but for Class 40ies this section has to be sealed to the rest of the hull. A very wise rule which should be valid for every sailing boat...

    The maneuver succeeded quickly, we are now experienced in taking rudders out mid ocean. And after a short inspection we decided to put up sails again, because making speed was the best method to prevent, that more water was coming in.


    We are truly disappointed, because we now have to abandon the race. This is a serious repair, which will take days in Horta. But we are also extremely happy that nothing more serious has happened. We easily could have hit the whole animal, with extremely serious consequences for boat and creature. And we are already on our way to Horta on the Azores, which is only 330 miles away. We can steer with our second rudder. We had to repair the fitting a couple of days ago because the bolts were broken from another impact. But we pray, that our repair is holding. It is the winward rudder, which makes steering a little tricky. But the forecast for the next days is decreasing breeze and reaching conditions, so the rudder will be in the water. We are slower now, between six and eight knots, which feels like seriously limping.

    Please cross your fingers that everything holds. We are safe and in good mood. There is no water entering the boat and we hope to be in Horta within the next two days."

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Red Retire From Bermuda Hamberg Race started by Photoboy View original post