Sunk in five minutes – XS Sailing


When 2022-23 Golden Globe Race front-runner Tapio Lehtinen was woken by a loud noise, he had five minutes to escape his sinking boat. Translated from Finnish publication Ilta-Sanomat, he shares some details from a cargo ship en route to China:

Lehtinen, 64, managed to lower the life raft into the water, and thanks to the good weather, he was able to calmly wait for the rescuers, who arrived a day later.

He still can’t believe that after careful preparation, the Asteria boat sank in five minutes.

“During those five minutes, the thought that this could not be possible was running through the back of my head. I was able to react to the situation without panicking and without getting nervous, but I also had a bit of a problem with me because the weather was so good.”

After reaching the life raft, Lehtinen watched his beloved boat sink below the surface of the water. After two days since the accident, the cause remains a mystery to him. Asteria was completely rebuilt five years ago before the previous round-the-world sailing organized in 2018…

MORE: In a blog post by Peter Foerthmann, he speculates how the stern may have incurred significant damage due to the auxiliary rudder system. For photos and details, click here.

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