Durban 2010 and beyond dismasts 780 miles from finish
Durban 2010 and Beyond, one of the ten yachts competing in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race has been dismasted during the race from Qingdao, China, to Hawaii.
At 0610 GMT on the 19th day of the 4,400-nautical mile Pacific Ocean leg, the team representing Durban, South Africa, contacted the Race Office to report that they had been dismasted at deck level, whilst sailing in approximately 20 knots of wind.
There are no injuries onboard and the crew of 16, including the professional skipper, is in the process of clearing the decks, cutting away the trailing rigging to prevent damage to the 68-foot yacht’s hull from the 81-foot (24.5 metre) mast, which weighs approximately one tonne.
Durbanite skipper, Ricky Chalmers says, “The conditions were bouncy, but we weren’t slamming. Just before the mast broke, the helm said he bore away from a wave. I think there was a slam, but not major, then a double crack.
“We first secured the boom which was lying partly on deck, with the aft end about six feet over the side,” explains Ricky. The crew, working together also managed to save the mainsail and headsails. They had to cut some of the rigging to release a portion of the mast and haul in the mainsail by hand but, says Ricky, “After that it was pretty straightforward. Main on deck, headsails retrieved. Then we took a break, had a chat, had supper.”
The yacht, currently 780 miles from the finish line in Honolulu, Hawaii, remains seaworthy, guard wires re-secured and a full deck check carried out to assess the extent of the damage.
Durban 2010 and Beyond’s dismasting is not thought to have been caused in the same manner as westernaustralia2011.com’s rig failure on Wednesday 5 March.
With 85 percent of this stage of the race complete and as a precautionary measure in the interest of the safety of the crews taking part in the Clipper Race, the Race Committee has told the rest of the fleet to stop racing and to proceed to Honolulu.
The Clipper Race Committee decided to shorten the course in accordance with the Clipper Sailing Instructions and Race 7 of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race finished at 0600 GMT this morning, 13 March.
Two of the other yachts have been diverted to rendezvous with the South African boat in the next 36 hours to transfer fuel and offer any support the team needs.