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Injured McCallan determined to race again

Not deterred: McCallan said the crash would not stop her racing again

Kim McCallan has vowed to continue racing after suffering multiple injuries in a crash during Sunday’s Rubis Around the Island Power Boat Race.

The Bermuda Power Boat Association vice-commodore was treated in hospital for a broken elbow, a concussion, a cut above her eye that required stitches, as well as bruising on various parts of her body.

McCallan was injured after being thrown from the racing catamaran she was competing in as a co-pilot that barrel-rolled while rounding Five Star Island.

Less than 24 hours after being discharged from hospital, a courageous McCallan said she would compete in the annual racing spectacle again after her debut in this year’s race was cut short by the mishap on Howard Ascento’s 21-foot boat.

“It was definitely not the debut I had envisioned, but I would definitely do it again,” McCallan said. “As they say, when you fall off a horse it’s better to get back on and try it again, and so I would definitely do it all over again.”

The mother of one has very little recollection of the accident.

“We were going at speed and everything was good until Five Star Island,” she said. “I remember seeing Five Star Island but I don’t remember the boat flipping over or whatever it did. Things happened so fast.

“I do remember being underwater and resurfacing and also being pulled out of the water onto a boat. I found out afterwards that the guys that pulled me out of the water were the America’s Cup guys [Oracle Team USA] who were so nice to me.”

McCallan praised all of those who came to her rescue.

“I would like to thank the crash boat that was assisting the Bermuda Power Boat Association in the area of Five Star Island, the America’s Cup team [Oracle], the police and St John Ambulance,” she said. “I would also like to thank the doctors and nurses that attended to me at the hospital and, of course, my committee colleagues and everyone else who has reached out to me with well wishes and their concern.”

McCallan’s elder sister, Debbie Correia, was working at the race control centre at the start-finish line when the sobering news about her sibling’s ordeal reached Ferry Reach.

“We got a call that there was a crash with a red boat that turned out to be D-4 and everyone in the area just went dead silent,” she said.

“I looked at Ernie [Mello, the race director] and said ‘that’s Kim’s boat’ and he said ‘I know’ and then I went silent. I didn’t know what to do or think and was like ‘please let her be okay’.

“Everybody said go to the hospital but I just sat there expecting my sister to call and say they are fine, but that call never came.”

Correia eventually went to the hospital to be by her sister’s side in the emergency room.

“When I saw that she was injured but still with us it was a big sigh of relief for me,” she said. “She was hurting and emotional so I was trying to remain calm to keep her calm. She was injured and I did not let her see my reaction, which wasn’t easy.”

Before the start of the annual 54-mile race, Correia extended her well wishes to her sister.

“I told her to be safe, enjoy it and I love you,” she recalled. “Those were words we don’t always say to each other, but something was making me say it.

“All she said to me was ‘thank you’ and I could see the emotion in her; she was excited and nervous. She wouldn’t say she was, but I knew because I could feel it.

“She picked up her safety equipment and walked down to her boat, and that was the last I saw of her until the emergency room.

“On behalf of our family I would like to thank everyone that came to her rescue.”