Kevin Malloy of Deland, Gibson- Caribbean 600

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Deland, Gibson’s very own risk advisor and avid sailor Kevin Malloy finished in third place at the 10th annual Caribbean 600 Ocean Race. This year, 80 sailboats and over 800 sailors from around the world arrived in Antigua to sail over 600 nautical miles nonstop around eleven of the neighboring Caribbean Islands. Malloy’s crew was also recognized as the youngest team to compete.

Fast and Hazardous

The weather conditions made for the fastest and most hazardous sailing conditions in the 10-year history of the race. Offshore wind was a steady 25-30 mph with numerous sea squalls during the day and night. This caused wind gusts to reach over 40 mph and wave swells to reach over 15 feet throughout much of the race. Due to the harsh weather conditions, less than 24 hours into the race a 55’ foot USA catamaran capsized and propelled all eight crew members into the water. All were safely rescued with no major injuries. By the end of the race, only 37 of the 80 boats fully completed the race.

Malloy and his team’s success is attributed to experience, strong communication skills and following a risk management formula. The team faced long hours of little sleep, limited food, and being drenched in foul weather gear, all while trying to keep morale high. It was important to not let sickness, fatigue, and frustration threaten the team. To keep everyone in the best shape possible four crew members of the team would rest while the other four crew members navigated the boat. The team used electronic technology on board to constantly monitor the weather conditions and the placement of their nearest competitors. The team also thoroughly inspected the boat prior to leaving the dock. The boat endured only two small breakdowns and no one suffered any major injuries. Because of this due diligence and mitigating risk, the team was successful in their result.

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