Brutal. Violent. Powerful. Outrageous! There are no specific adjectives for describing what’s happening here at the moment! The wind has gone up to over 60 knots with spikes that go far higher. The power of the waves is impossible to describe.
(…) We’ve just lowered the staysail and just have the three-reef mainsail with nothing in front, after sticking the stems in four or five times.
Like in a nightmare, a single-faced wave arrived. Once we were on top of it, I saw, with horror, that this mountain was in fact an enormous trampoline and that there was no slope to slide down, but 10 or 12 meters of empty space.
The boat bounced in this void at almost 30 knots, and the outcome was vicious. We landed at the bottom with the hulls almost vertical.
The front half, in other words almost 13 meters, plunged violently. The bottom half flew up and began to rise, carried away by inertia and the breaker’s foam.
In one last spurt before the crash, I had time to swing left before the rudders flew off for good, in hope that at least one of the two hulls would make it and swerve the whole vessel.
And that’s what happened!
The giant catamaran pivoted over 40 meters, with its axis being the second hull that was two meters underwater.
The scene lasted barely 20 seconds but will remain forever etched in my memory like a nightmare. No casualties. We’re hauling down everything that’s left – the objective is survival.
It’s going to last 40 hours.
Bruno Peyron on board Commodore Explorer.