Veteran ocean racer Nico Budel has issued a distress call 240 miles east of the Crozet islands in the Southern Ocean. Budel suffered damage to his keel while competing in the Portimao global ocean race.
“Since early this morning the situation has developed rapidly from some concerns about the keel to a full blown rescue operation,’ said Race Director Josh Hall. ‘Nico is in no immediate danger but it’s clear that his yacht will not survive the approaching gale force winds without further damaging the keel and it is in danger of capsizing. Hayai is the only canting keel boat in our fleet but, more importantly, I believe that the keel has hit something for this to happen. We will not rest easy until Nico is safely aboard another vessel and out of this dangerous situation.’