The MAPFRE sailboat racing team tipped over in the Southern Ocean, 2,000 miles off shore on the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team was barreling towards Itajaí, Brazil, in the nine-month, 38,738-nautical mile competition that began in Alicante, Spain in October.
A squall pushed the boom to the other side of the Volvo Ocean 65 sailboat, causing what’s known as a “Chinese gybe” or a death roll. The MAPFRE was the third of four boats to encounter a death roll during this leg of the race from Auckland, New Zealand. The boat, holding eight crew members and one non-sailing reporter, sat sideways in the ocean, taking on waves, while the sailors worked tirelessly to restore stability and minimize damage. It took the team less than two minutes to get the boat upright again and continue on with the race, which ends in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 27