The man in the water
To remind all the sailors of the dangers of our beloved sport, I would like to share a story from Vegvisir race. The race which has also premiered as a Signature Event this year was held less than a month ago in the waters close to Silverrudder. The waters that have been called the “Southern Ocean” of Baltic Sea. Of course, that is an exaggeration. But now the second race in a row with a similar weather forecast – front passing with gusts of 30 to 40 knots of wind is downgrading that exaggeration, so it almost holds true.
The event that I am talking about here has happened about 24 hours into the race. Franz Schollmeyer and his co-skipper Falko Braun were sailing aboard Esse 850 south of Lolland in heavy weather. The two very experienced sailors had already made it to the north of Fehmarn and were leading in their class 15 nautical miles ahead of the competition. At the handover of the tiller, a wave rocked the boat heavily. Remember that was in the middle of the night, second night that is. Schollmeyer, who wore only a solid vest because he had previously triggered his life jacket, was not clipped in at that moment. He lost his footing and went overboard – the nightmare for every sailor.
We are glad that we were able to talk about the incident with both of them after the race.