Killer whales attack Ocean Race boats in Gibraltar

Nautical Channel
23 Jun 2023
NEWS | Marine Life, Sailing

The VO65 boats were sailing on "The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint" route in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean near Gibraltar, when they noticed a group of killer whales heading straight for them.

On Thursday, June 22, Team JAJO and Mirpuri Trifork Racing reported that they had been attacked by killer whales. The teams subsequently contacted Control to confirm that there were no injuries or material damage to their boats, despite the killer whales ramming into the boats and biting the rudders.

"We were hit by killer whales 20 minutes ago," Team JAJO skipper Jelmer van Beek alerted after the incident.

"Three killer whales came straight towards us and started hitting the rudders. It is impressive to see the killer whales, very beautiful animals, but it was also a dangerous moment for us as a team. We took the sails off and slowed the boat down as fast as we could and fortunately, after a few attacks, they were gone... It was a scary moment."

These killer whale attacks in the Gibraltar area are nothing new, we have recently published an article in Nautical Channel talking about these attacks and theorizing the reason for them. It is already known that in this area there are several attacks by killer whales so you have to be careful, since, in some cases, the boats have suffered significant damage, coming close to being shipwrecked on several occasions.

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