Brand new Open 60 dismasts in light winds off Cowes

Brand new Open 60 Pindar, helmed by Mike Sanderson, was dramatically dismasted while racing around the Isle of Wight yesterday, Wednesday 8 August.

Launched in July, Pindar was passing through Freshwater Bay, racing against six other Open 60s in 10-12 knots of wind when her wing mast suddenly snapped less than two metres from the deck, sending her rig tumbling down.

Amazingly, no-one was hurt, especially fortunate as 6 months pregnant Emma Sanderson – nee Richards – was on the boat in the position of navigator. After securing the wreckage, the boat was towed back to her base in Gosport to be repaired. Designer Juan Kouyoumdjian was on board, and is no doubt unhappy with the incident – this is his second yacht to collapse in less than a month;Bounder’s keel fell off last month in the Solent.

Pindar’s hopes of competing in the Fastnet Race, beginning Sunday 12 August, now look to be crushed, although owner Andrew Pindar is hoping that the rig might be repaired in time for the start. ‘I don’t know why it happened’, he said.’We heard ‘Bang! Bang!’ and then it seemed like a fast sort of slow motion as the sails came down.’

Photo: Mark Lloyd