The Velux 5 Oceans continues to test Sir Robin
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Open 60 was hit by a 32 knot squall which overpowered the autopilot leaving SAGA INSURANCE on her side. While he struggled to get things under control the situation on board continued to get worse. The reacher he was trying to furl jammed and in order to stop it flogging itself to ribbons, he had to go forward.
As he left the cockpit the boat went into a Chinese gybe which broke all of the batons in the mainsail, some in three places. After 40 minutes of battling with the reacher, Robin managed to get the sail below deck and the mainsail down to two reefs but he believes it will take up to three days to fix the main sail problems and get the boat back to full speed.
“You would not want to be around this boat at the moment. She is like a seagull with a broken wing and I am in a murderous mood. Every batten in the mainsail is broken and having got across the Inter Tropical Convergence zone, when we ought to be making about 12 knots into the SouthEast Trades, we are limping along at four knots with at least two days of repairs to do. There goes my chances of seeing the test match and, of course, the longer this takes the more pressure there is on my fuel supplies,” Robin said.