The leading boat in the Ocean Globe Race has been forced to divert with a risk that the boat may sink in rough conditions
Translated 9, the leading IRC yacht in the Ocean Globe Race has been forced to divert to the Falkland Islands after discovering two cracks on the hull, one of which is big enough to sink the boat in heavy weather, co-skipper Marco Trombetti reported.
Translated 9 had been sailing offshore up the east coast of Argentina, only hours behind the leaders, the French crew aboard Pen Duick VI, when the Swan 65 suffered a knockdown on Leg 3 from Auckland to Punte Del Este in Uruguay. Two cracks in the stern sections were discovered a day later, one close to the rudder keg.
‘We have a problem,’ Trombetti, Translated’s CEO and founder, told OGR race control early on Friday 9 February. ‘We have discovered another two cracks on the hull. One is manageable but the other looks quite bad because it is inside the boat not in a separate compartment. It is in the aft cabin.
‘The amount of water that is coming in is absolutely manageable, but we think that the crack is very fragile. If we get into very bad weather the crack is big enough to sink the boat. We are now trying to make a routing that keeps us out of bad conditions as much as we can.’
Ocean Globe Race HQ has declared it a Code Orange incident and the local Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre has been informed.
The co-skippers are working with engineers onshore in Italy to make temporary repairs and have not requested further assistance. If outside assistance is required Translated 9 will be removed from the OGR rankings for Leg 3 of the race.
Translated 9, formerly ADC Accutrac in the 1997 Whitbread, is now sailing the 160 miles to the Falklands for repairs, making around 8.7 knots in 10-12 knot northwest winds. Further favourable winds are forecast and the crew is expected to arrive late on 10 February.
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The damage is a severe blow to the Italian team, which has won both Leg 1 (IRC rating) and Leg 2 (line honours and IRC). The rival French crew of Pen Duick VI is ahead on the last 1,000 miles to Punta del Este and is expected to take Leg 3 line honours, arriving around 14 February.
Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet continues the race. Three former Whitbread yachts, Maiden, Spirit of Helsinki, formerly Fazer Finland, and Neptune rounded Cape Horn within hours of each other. Maiden hosted the first black female crew to race around Cape Horn. Aboard Neptune, crew member Bertrand Delhom has been inspiring, sailing around the world with Parkinsons.
Conditions prior to rounding Cape Horn were challenging, with 35-knot winds, gusting to 55, 6-8 metre seas and a confused sea state with two-metre secondary swells.
Designed by Sparkman and Stephens, Translated 9 had a new co-skipper for Leg 3. Golden Globe Race finisher Simon Curwen, who was navigator for the first two legs, stepped up after Vittorio Malingri resigned during the Auckland stopover.
Malingri was found to have breached the notice of race over sail repair and incurred Translated 9 a 72-hour time penalty and a further suspended 100-hour penalty for submitting a false declaration. An investigation by the Ocean Globe Race HQ found that three sails from Translated 9 – a genoa and two spinnakers were sent to a sailmaker for repair. Under the rules, sails can not be sent to a sailmaker for repairs without approval from the Race HQ. There is a 12-hour time penalty for each sail. Sailmakers are allowed to come aboard to make repairs without penalty.
The Ocean Globe Race is a fully crewed retro race in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race, marking the 50th anniversary of the original event. The 27,000-mile race around the world started in September in Southampton and is divided into four legs, taking in the Southern Ocean and the three great Capes.
Stopovers included Cape Town in South Africa, Auckland in New Zealand, as well as Punta del Este in Uruguay, before returning to the UK in April 2024.
There are now only 13 yachts in the race after the Skeleton Crew of military veterans aboard Swan 51 Godspeed retired after suffering damage to the yacht.
Positions of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race fleet – Leg 3: Auckland to Punta del Este at 1000 UTC on 09 February 2024. These positions will change under the IRC rating.
Ocean Globe Race positions:
Pen Duick VI (France)
Translated 9 (Italy)
Spirit of Helsinki (Finland)
L’Esprit d’Equipe (France)
White Shadow (Spain)
Galiana with Secure (Finland)
Sterna (South Africa)
Retired: Godspeed (USA)
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