Yacht Destroyed on Rocks

How one couple’s yacht was wrecked in the last few meters of a transatlantic crossing.

boat on rocks

Retired couple Krzysztof and Agniezka Zadarnowski, cruising in their Tartan 37 from Bermuda to the Azores, had sailed the last miles of the transatlantic passage, handed their sails and were motoring the last few hundred metres into port when an escalating sequence of events led to the destruction of their yacht.

The pair, originally from Poland, had lived in the US for 27 years and left their home in California in 2008, sailing to the Panama Canal and the Caribbean before leaving Bermuda in May to reach Europe in the 37ft Sulima.

They arrived in Horta, in the Azores, where I was reporting last week on the ARC Europe Rally, just as the fiercest part of a cold front was blowing through. Gusts to 47 knots were punching through the anchorage, raising spray and a short chop even in the lee of the main harbour wall.

As Sulima motored in a sheet apparently blew off the deck. It wrapped round the propeller and stopped the engine.

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