The following was forwarded by John Grannis, and was originally from Neville A Dawson.
Date: 96-03-10 15:05:42 EST
Just thought I would let you know that Graeme Horne is in Auckland Hospital in a critical condition after Fleetlease went over during the race in Auckland on Saturday. Raphael Sanchez got out very quickly with only minor cuts and bruises. Tony Banks the nav received some severe bruising around the head after his helmet was ripped from his head and unfortunately Graemes side took the main force of the impact. It destroyed the screens they were totally ripped off and the headrests were bent back flat.
At this stage Graeme is in critical condtion and they have him in a coma to allow him to stabilise. He has had major bone reconstruction surgery on the left hand side of his face and the doctors are very concerned about the massive blood swelling around his brain. All we can do is sit and wait at the moment. We had to retrieve the boat from the bottom of Auckland harbour yesterday with a big floating crane as it sunk about ten minutes after the accident. And in case you are wondering yes I did get pics of the boat going over and the recovery. We all, Sleepyhead team and ourselves spent all last night stripping the boat down and cleaning it to reduce the amount of salt water corrosion. Everyone chipped in and helped, true kiwi style. .....
Critical Care Ward
Auckland, New Zealand
24 Clevedon Road
Papakura, New Zealand
If you would like to email a message also please send to email@example.com and they will be passed on to Graeme and Tony as I see them very very often. We are all a family in offshore and support from fellow racers is always welcome. Raphael Sanchez is heading back to the US on Wednesday and has a couple of cuts on his legs but apart from that is okay. Not exactly the best intro to racing downunder but at least he got to see how beneficial the rescue helicopter is. Graemes diver jumped from over 50 feet into the water beside the boat and had Graeme out of the boat within a couple of minutes. Graemes side took he full force of the impact and the screens of the boat, over an inch thick were destroyed. They were still attached on the mounting it was the screens themselves that disintegrated.
I will continue to post messages for those that are interested. Graeme Horne undergoes more surgery over the next day or so so should have some more reports. Also if anyone out there has a spare team t-shirt Graeme is an avid collector of these for his "trophy room" as Raphael will certainly tell you. If you have a spare one then I am sure Graeme would appreciate it.
We wish Mr. Horne a safe and speedy recovery....
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Last Modified on Tuesday, March 12, 1996