Dismasting for Beyou
Skipper Jérémie Beyou of the Barcelone Race fourth-placed IMOCA 60 Delta Dore has been dismasted. Both he and co-skipper Sidney Gavignet are unhurt and safe onboard and the boat itself is structurally intact.
‘We have wind from 300°, 25 knots increasing to 35 knots sometimes, and waves not too bad at about 4 metres. We were sailing with one reef in the mainsail and staysail (small headsail). The mast seems to have fallen backwards,’ said Beyou.
‘We had to quickly cut the mast and boom away in to the water because it they were becoming dangerous and was going to start damaging the hull. The boat is okay, the deck is okay, only there are no more lifelines. And we have nothing big to use to make a jury rig for now.’
The boat’s position at the time of dismasting was nearly a thousand miles south east from South Africa, drifting slowly at between 1 and 2 knots east.
The boat has 188 litres of diesel onboard, which will provide approximately 60 hours of motoring, the equivalent of approximately 240 miles. The team are also already studying the options of a jury rig using spare mainsail battens onboard.
Mark Turner, CEO of OC Events, co-organisers of the Barcelona World Race added: ‘It’s easy to become complacent about sailing around the world, but the last few days during which we have seen PRB lose the top 3 metres of their mast and Estrella Damm suffer severe damage to their rudder are a strong reminder just how hard it is to race at this kind of pace, on these 60-foot racing machines, racing around the planet non-stop. Nearly 10,000 miles in, and the damage toll is mounting. Ocean racing competition at this level has many human performance factors, but it remains nonetheless a mechanical sport. The adage ‘that to win you must first finish’ has never been more true. This is a cruel fate though for this well prepared team that was working so well together onboard, and sailing prudently by their own admission. Also, just as Jérémie was getting his first taste of the Southern Ocean, an ocean he will now have to wait until the 2008 solo Vendée Globe in a year’s time to revisit.’