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A una settimana dal salvataggio in pieno Pacifico, Yann Eliés racconta la sua avventura. Lo skipper di Generali torna sulle dinamiche dell'incidente e descrive...

[singlepic=1233,250,170,,left]Vendée Globe – Perth – A una settimana dal salvataggio in pieno Pacifico, Yann Eliés racconta la sua avventura. Lo skipper di Generali torna sulle dinamiche dell’incidente e descrive i lunghi momenti vissuti in compagnia di Marc Guillemot in attesa dei soccorsi.

Audio courtesy Vendée Globe.

[Vendée Globe Press Release] One week after his rescue, Yann Eliés talks about his experience (audio in french only). We offer you an english translation of the audio content.

The accident
“I had 25-30 knots of wind, but the seas were still heavy…I wanted to go on the attack and I needed to hoist the gennaker. I had a slight problem with a rope on the bowsprit and I needed to sort it out before hoisting the sail. So I decided to go out to the end wearing my harness. The conditions didn’t seem too bad, but I got it wrong, as when I was out at the front of the bow, the boat suddenly took off. I didn’t have time to do anything about it and the boat slammed into a wave at twenty knots. I was knocked over and my leg gave way. I can’t remember much after that. I think I must have held on to the pulpit with my left hand. The harness gave way under the impact… In such cases you always find an inner strength you didn’t know you had. In great pain, I made it back to the pulpit and let myself fall down on the deck. Then I crawled back to the cockpit and into my bunk. I took my clothes off to take a look at my leg..and then it was a question of waiting.”

36 hours of pain…
“These 36 hours in my bunk, when I couldn’t move were awful. I had to really concentrate on not moving and at the same time find a position that was as comfortable as possible. Each movement was torture. Erwan Steff was really helpful and helped me through those difficult moments. Marc Guillemot’s arrival, especially when I saw him with my own eyes, really gave me a boost. I managed to find a little bit of energy and forced myself to try to get hold of my medicine and something to drink. Millimetre by millimetre, with the utmost care, I managed to grasp the pain-killers and a can of fizzy drink. Erwan kept me informed about the progress of the Australian rescue team and that helped my morale and gave me strength.”

The moment of evacuation
“Going aboard the frigate Arunta was an outpouring of relief. I was no longer alone, but the frigate was only equipped with the basics and I was still at sea, and having to put up with all the movements of the boat. It was only back on dry land surrounded by doctors on my way to hospital that I understood the worst was over. Then, there were X-rays, blood tests and other tests, but above all, it meant that I was no longer getting tossed around and that reassured me considerably. Knowing that I was going to be operated on and that I would walk again really helped too. Then, the greatest moment was the arrival of friends and family. I could finally talk and share my feelings, my pain and my fears with people I love.”

Mixed emotions…
“The presence of my family is absolutely fabulous. The operation went smoothly and the doctors were very reassuring. I’m being well taken are of and now I’m looking to the future and that’s when darker feelings appear sometimes, as I imagine being in bed for weeks on end. There are some difficult times ahead.”

Audio courtesy Vendée Globe.

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