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Ask Nico

Here's a funny one I was just PM'd:

Q: "What's Wouter's favorite kind of knot?"

A: "A reef. NOT!"

OK so humor must be allowed... Just where was Wouter? And what is the first thing he said? Then seriously.... How did the realization actually come out that you had slammed into the middle of a well charter reef?

Since this is shifting more to reality TV everyday? Is there any chance this whole thing was scripted for attention? Sorry gotta ask?



Super Anarchist
It's suprising (amazing?) how far into the lagoon the boat ended up. Did the waves or swell lift it over the reef right after the initial impact? As gut wrenching as the video was of the impacts, one could imagine it could have been much worse. What are Nico's thoughts on that? In any event, big props to Nico for his leadership in getting the everyone to shore safely and to the whole crew for their efforts to minimize damage to the enviornment. Hope a way is found for them to re-enter the race.



Super Anarchist
The Netherlands

what is the normal safety distance in general. (other boats very close too)

Difference in night and day ?

Is the configuration of the seabed in the pre race scanning a point ?
(I have a favourite area to cross the Biscay continental shelf border, and know to avoid in bad weather a seamount near Portugal, wonder if htey have the same tactics)



Incredible stuff from all the team, glad you are all safe.

Q: Was anything missed or forgotten during the watch change prior to the incident? Was the previous watch aware of the shallows?

Hope you guys get back on the water.

Q: Where did you get those stylin' baggies?

I am one of the jillions of fans pulling for you and the rest of the Vestas team to get back in the race.




Not here
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I'm putting these here so they are all in one place. Come to think of it, maybe I will invite him to just answer them all right here!

Or not. I'd like to hear his voice and see his face.


Questions for Nico.

We've heard reports of stress like dehydration, sleep deprivation and insufficient calorie consumption to maintain body weight. Is it unreasonable to expect crews of 8 to competively and safely race these one design boats around the world? Should the crew number be larger? Whats the likelihood of another crew stress related navigational error in this regatta? Given the gruelling nature of the race, would it be wise to have two crews per boat alternating race legs?

This one is not as polite a question: why didnt the helmsman spin the boat 180 degrees after hitting the first rock (coral head)? Was he waiting for instructions on what to do?

Thank you for the excellent coverage on SA.

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Question for Nico:

Now that he's had some time to reflect since the grounding, has he thought of anything he might have done differently in his role as skipper that could have helped to prevent it? Recognizing the truth of what he's said about trusting the people under him, does he think he will work any differently with his navigators in the future as a result of this experience? Does he have any advice for other skippers on how they can strike the right balance between letting their subordinates do their jobs, while still providing an effective backstop to guard against human error?

Edit: Oops. Just now saw that this was asked above, in the very first response. Great minds! :)


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Super Anarchist
Chicago, IL
When someone calls out that 'we are going over shoals at 40 meters' or whatever, who called it out, and where did they get that info? It seems like it came right from the nav station, and what, exactly, was that person looking at?

Glad they are all safe, and hope to see everyone sailing soon.

Jim Calto



Dallas, TX
There was video of your crew chasing around CT last minute presumably because there was not enough support staff. You were a late entry and possibly underfunded. Did this contribute to the failure? Do you have a new minimum floor before taking on such a project?



Super Anarchist
NA westcoast

....did Dingo's make you do it!? :unsure:

...or that little island to the NW named siren island**..did it play a part? :blink:

....**...really!...there's a siren island close-by!

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Super Anarchist
How involved are you as the skipper in reviewing the charts, before the race and during the race?

Will your level of "trust" of other crew members change?

Since this experience are there any additional skills you might look for in selecting a crew?

Was it at any time thought that it was unusual to be sailing in a depth of 40nm?

I hope Vestas returns to the race as soon as possible, if possible. After such a harrowing experience do you think all the crew will be up for it?

Get back on the horse!



Super Anarchist
One more.

Exclusion zones. How thorough should they be and how much should be left to the teams to navigate. Ice. Pirates. What other hazards?