She loses mast en route to Le Havre

Pindar, the Open 60 built and owned by print and electronic media company
Pindar, has been dismasted again, this time off the coast of Le Havre, France. Skippered by Brian Thompson, the Open 60 racing yacht was en route to Le Havre, prior to the start of the transatlantic race, the Transat Jacques Vabre, in which
she was due to compete in eight days time.

The mast fell backwards and then to windward onto the boat and the crew,
however there were no injuries and the crew are all safe and well. The
mast, rigging and sails were cut free from the hull, which suffered minimal
damage, to allow the crew to motor safely into Le Havre.

The dismasting took place nine miles north west of the entrance to the
harbour of Le Havre, at 18.15 BST on Thursday 25th October. The boat was
sailing close-hauled on port tack, in 12 knots of wind, sailing at a speed
of 11 knots. The mast suffered one clean break, just under halfway up the
30 metre high mast, in a slightly lower position than the first breakage
suffered by the boat during the Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes Week
earlier this year.

Despite the structural repairs made to the mast, followed by extensive testing in the Solent and Atlantic including Brian Thompson and Will Oxley’s 1000 nautical mile qualifying sail for the TJV race, it appears that a further structural weakness in the mast remains.

Having lost the mast, sails and rigging overboard by cutting them free last
night, the team will now further inspect the hull. Brian, Will and the
remainder of the Team Pindar Open 60 team will remain in Le Havre,
supporting Pindar 40, Pindar’s second entry in the TJV race, skippered by
Jo Royle and Alexia Barrier, the only all female entry in the 33 boat Class
40 fleet. Ian Williams, Pindar’s top British match racing sailor, will be
onboard Pindar 40 calling tactics during the prologue race this Saturday.

Currently top of the World Match Racing Tour, which culminates in December,
Ian will return to the UK following the race to concentrate on preparations
for the final two Tour events in Brazil and Malaysia. See