Team reporter Yann Riou notes how they also had the Cargados Carajos Shoals directly in their path. Skipper Charles Caudrelier had noticed this archipelago a few days earlier, but it’s worth noting that it’s actually pretty hard to find. In fact, to see it on our electronic charts
, you have to zoom right in on top of it. But how and why would you zoom into it if you don’t know it’s there in the first place?
So whilst we don’t know exactly what happened on Vestas, we can imagine how it happened.”
I think the italicized text is a very good question. Looking at the various zooms on their software
reveals two very different pictures. Zoomed out, it looks like you can sail right through if you pick your line. Zooming in it's clear that there is no route through whatsoever. But zoomed out it's very deceptive; there's no indication of the reef at all, and the data looks pretty resolved. Weird.
navigator Wouter Verbraak is one of the best, and firmly falls into the category of a superb yachtsman and navigator. He is one who understands the strengths and limitations of digital tools more than most will ever do. And one of the nicest guys in the sport to boot. Mistakes
happen. Just glad they are all safe and uninjured.”
Verbraak takes responsibility and mentions that he did survey
the area before turning in and felt comfortable with the depths he saw. Pretty clearly he did not zoom in adequately, much less acquaint himself with the area through other sources beforehand. But fatigue, course changes, and dealing with immediate challenging conditions no doubt contributed to that one catastrophic oversight.
As for responsibility, while the skipper is ultimately responsible, it's hard to lay blame on the watch crew without knowing exactly what procedures they had in place regarding watch keeping responsibilities, communication between watch captains and the navigator, etc.
That video is frightening. I can only imagine the moment of fear right after the first impact, in the dark, sledding along at 19 knots, in the middle of virtually nowhere. Can't have been a feeling any of them wants to remember.