One of the many interesting stories to come out of Leg Four of the Volvo Race, Singapore to Qingdao, is that of the decision taken by Bouwe Bekking and the crew aboard Telefonica Blue. They took on the dangers of the Strait of Luzon while the remaining competitors chose to wait for the storm to pass.
The decision was based on Bekking’s observation: “Every time we approached the coast, more breeze came and we could see a complete white wash approaching the top of the Philippines. We made the call to stay out and go for it.”
Bekking also reported: “We sailed most of the time with three reefs and the storm jib. The (canting) keel was locked in the middle and we kept all the sails downstairs, just to make sure we could sail as slowly as possible, but with enough steerage to avoid big waves.”
So, when conditions got really bad, they sailed their high-tech yacht just like a traditional one – fully reefed and with their canting keel locked in the middle.
I wonder if they turned their motor off?
Read more of my views in my article on canting keels.