Race oddities

September 21, 1997

In the 1993-'94 race, the helmsman aboard the boat Intrum Justitia was hit so hard by a wave, his body bent the wheel.

A former Vietnam prisoner of war visited the members of Maryland's team, Chessie Racing, and coached them on survival skills. The focus of the talk: staying sane during extremely long periods in claustrophobic spaces.

In the 1989-90 race, a Russian boat entered the race with an inexperienced skipper. After a month on the boat, he disappeared in the woods in Uruguay during a stopover and hanged himself in a remote spot near Punta del Este.

Sailors have trouble sleeping because of the loud whirring sound the water makes as it rushes past the rudder. The sound is likened to the roar from the first row of a Formula One race car track during a race.

Team members get shots for typhoid, yellow fever and more as they travel around the globe. Certain crew-mates are trained as medics, and deliver the shots.

Pub Date: 9/21/97

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