Rogue waves are one of the unknowns that you encounter in the ocean, whether cruising or racing, whether in 10 knots or 50. I have personally encountered a rogue wave in the Pacific which thoroughly pooped our boat when lightly running in around 10 knots of wind. Here is a 'close encounter' with a rogue wave by British yacht Great Britain. It occurred this week in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in the South Indian Ocean:
Great Britain Crew working hard - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Great Britain crew, Jim Hendry, Ben Pate and Mark Heywood were on deck when a huge wave crashed over them, knocking them into the cockpit. Jim, who gladly suffered no major injuries recalled: 'I was sitting there, talking and singing quite happily, when all of a sudden out the blue, a big massive wave came out of nowhere and knocked me, Ben and the yacht, everything flying.'
Ben Pate commented: 'I’ve looked to my left and Jim is lying there with his head in a pretty peculiar position. It didn’t look like he was breathing. I called his name a couple of times and he didn’t respond. After a while, he gave a little cough and started breathing again.'
After coming round and being checked by on board medics, Jim is making a full recovery, has now returned to his watch duties and is incredibly grateful for his team mates assistance, saying: 'Unfortunately I got hit, but that was it. Thanks very much for the crew for helping me out and getting me back together.'
Great Britain currently have just over 2,000 miles to go to their destination of Albany, Western Australia.
There are twelve identical, British registered 70 foot ocean racing yachts, carrying 240 international amateur crew, each under the command of a professional skipper, on the world’s longest ocean race. It is now 10,000 miles out of London on its 40,000 mile, 11 month marathon journey. The fleet left Cape Town on 4 November and is expected into Albany, Western Australia towards the end of the month. The unique event ends back in London in July next year.
Clipper Round the World