Lobster pots and ocean racers

It’s not just coastal cruisers who have trouble with evading lobster pot buoys in New England waters. Right after the Volvo Ocean Race start in Boston this past weekend, the VOR website carried comments regarding the dangers of snagging lobster pot buoys and their associated lines. One boat, Green Dragon, snagged a pot buoy, the warp of which managed to saw into the laminate of its port daggerboard. The crew worked hard to reverse the damaged daggerboard.

From the website: For the Volvo Ocean Race fleet beginning their next 2,550 mile leg from Boston to Galway on Saturday, May 16th, the start included a windward-leeward lap of Boston’s inner harbor, with fog soon shielding the turning mark at the eastern end of the start course. The sudden appearance of a massive oil tanker also hampered the progress of the fleet, with Delta Lloyd getting the worst of it.

Said Green Dragon skipper Ian Walker (GBR), “It was quite bizarre losing sight of everything as visibility dropped to less than 100 metres. I suspect this will be a recurring theme of the next week as moist air from the south cools over the very cold water we will be sailing through and forms dense fog. It will mean 24 hour radar watch, (though) radar doesn’t help much with lobster pots.

“After zig zagging our way through we eventually hooked one on our leeward daggerboard. Five minutes later we had three of them entangling us. After backing down and clearing two of them we realised one line had sawn its way through the leading edge of the port daggerboard. We managed to raise the board and cut it free but we are left with a 250 cut in the laminate of our daggerboard. We cannot leave the board in this state or the laminate will peel away and the board will start to disintegrate. Right now the watch system is on hold and we have four teams of people working onboard.•bCrLf

By Ocean Navigator