Published on 8 October 2021
Christian Kargl (980 – All Hands On Deck), second production boat skipper to make Santa Cruz de La Palma : “Deprived of an SSB radio from the second day out on the racetrack”
Christian Kargl was the second production boat skipper to cross the finish line of the first leg of the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat EuroChef this Friday 8 October at 09h18min30s (UTC). In so doing, the skipper of All Hands On Deck took 10 days 19 hours 48 minutes and 30 seconds to complete the 1,350-mile course between Les Sables d’Olonne and Santa Cruz de La Palma at an average speed of 5,14 knots.
“From the second day out on the racetrack, I was deprived of an SSB as it had taken on water. As a result, I had no idea I was in second place when I finished the leg, so it was a nice surprise! It wasn’t an easy race. After Cape Finisterre and the issuing of the severe weather warning, everyone was quite nervous and there were a number of discussions over VHF about the bad conditions rolling in. I tried to find a spot in a marina but I wasn’t able to get any confirmation on that, so I waited a while and then got chatting to Melwin (Fink), who told me that the weather would be more manageable to the south of Porto. Each of us decided to continue on our way and then review the situation according to the next weather report. At that point, we received confirmation that the further down the Atlantic we got, the less wind we’d have and so we said, “Let’s go!” After that I had an electronics blackout and ended up with no light, no sounder, no nothing… As a result, I decided to put into Viana do Castelo, in Portugal. It was the safer option for me. I made a 15-hour pit-stop, leaving the worst of the front to roll through and then got back out on the racetrack as quickly as I could. It’s great to finish second, especially with such a lead over the 3rd boat and the rest of the fleet. I don’t know how things will play out in the second leg, but one thing for sure is that I have a fair few things to repair on my boat in the meantime!”