SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet and the Spanish Army patrol - false alarm and nice encounter
While sailing off the coast of the Western Sahara, several Volvo Ocean 65s noticed a rubber boat speeding towards MAPFRE.
"All of a sudden a small ship appears on the horizon, armed. Pirates! It's the first thing that comes to mind. This is the thing we've all been warned of!" explained Stefan Coppers, Team Brunel's Onboard Reporter.
But it was a much friendlier visit than that.
MAPFRE, the Spanish team, had received a radio call earlier that day from a Spanish Army patrol, the P44 SPS Tornado. The Navy called to greet them and wish them luck. They then launched a rib boat to go and pay a visit to several of the Volvo Ocean Race boats, flying a big Spanish flag and saying encouraging words.
All is well in the fleet, as the seven teams keep sailing along the African coast towards the trade winds.