Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 60

life ON THE WATER Record-breaking Salter brothers lead Volvo Ocean Race Jules and Guy Salter, two brothers from Gurnard, have just stepped ashore from Ericsson 4 in Cape Town after winning leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started from Alicante on 11 October. Not only that, they smashed the world record for sailing over 600 nautical miles in 24 hours and evacuated a crewmember along the way. The 24-day leg from Alicante to Cape Town, the ‘tavern of the seas’, was full of incident for the Salter’s team, who are racing together for the first time. Eight days after the start, when in second position, one of their 10 crew, Tony Mutter from New Zealand, was found to have a poisoned knee. It was serious. “We gave Tony an aesthetic and proceeded to suck some of the fluid off using a syringe. Then we stuck the knife in – well carefully 60 cut the infected area with a scalpel,” describes fellow crewman, Phil Jameson. “After that, we bandaged him up and sent him to his bunk for 24 hours.” The makeshift medical attention did not work and Jules Salter, the navigator onboard, had to make the tricky decision to peel away from the fleet, losing valuable miles, to rendezvous with a fishing vessel at the Cape Verde Islands, to transfer Mutter, who was later taken to hospital. Guy Salter, the embedded journalist onboard, recorded the whole operation from start to finish, including the crew’s attempts to drain fluid from Mutter’s knee prior to his evacuation. The team was already quite close to the Cape Verde islands, which made a convenient drop-off point, but the team wasted hours drifting, waiting for the fishing boat to arrive. When it was finally located, Mutter put on his survival suit, jumped overboard and swam the 100 metres to the waiting vessel. Jules reckons the team lost about 50 nautical miles during the detour. For the next week, the crew pushed hard to climb back up the leaderboard, and made it back to pole position on day 15, 25 October. With a 40-knot westerly ga le forecast, the crew was preparing for the worst. “There has been a lot of activity onboard today, with everyone triple checking their areas, ready for the mighty kicking we are about to receive, “ wrote Guy on day 16. “After all, it would be a shame to get some gear damage and lose our chance at a shot of a podium finish,” he said. “Oh, to be in three places at once,” The Island's new funky radio station www.wightfm.com