“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Martin Wins BOC First Leg

by Richard Crockett

John Martin aboard ‘Tuna Marine Voortrekker’ won the first leg of the BOC singlehanded round the world race, 14 hours ahead of Frenchman Phillippe Jeantot aboard ‘Credit Agricole III’.

This was a very tough leg with one yacht lost, three involved in collisions, another demasted, two cases of broken rudders, a fire, two capsizes, countless damage to rigging and sails, together with a serious groin injury sustained by one solo circumnavigator, the first 7100 mile stage of the BOC Challenge proved more a destruction derby then warm-up for the two southern ocean legs to Sydney and Cape Horn.

“That collision at the start affected me badly for about four days,” John Martin, South African victor on the first leg of the BOC Race recalled on arrival in Cape Town when recounting his calamitous start aboard ‘Tuna Marine Voortrekker’ when she ran down a rogue spectator boat 10 minutes after the start.

“To start with I was very annoyed. Their stupidity could have cost me the whole project, but then once I realised I had suffered little more than a broken stanchion, I began to worry if any of the five crew on the other boat had been injured when they fell into the water.

“My wife assured me over the radio that everyone was OK but the thought kept nagging at me – perhaps she was only saying that to hide something far worse.”

Today I share a report on that first leg of the course, a short editorial entitled “Voortrekker ii – tuna marine then and now” plus an interview with John Martin too.

READ IT ALL HERE:  Pages from 1986 12 – SAILING Magazine – OCR

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