Thursday, December 6, 2007

Brit Air dismasted

The news fell this lunchtime: Brit Air had dismasted after escaping the Doldrums and was sailing with eased sheets. "It occurred around lunchtime French time. I was down below when I heard a big crack. The mast broke and fell on the side of the deck. I'm a bit anxious about the damage it's done to the deck.

There was a bit of wind and sea but it wasn't stormy. I had to try and sort out the mess pretty quickly. I managed to get the mast clear of the boat and it sank fast along with everything else. All I have left is one outrigger so there’s not enough to make up a jury rig. The Cape Verde islands are about 400 miles away so I'll try and head there.

I'm currently under motor at a reduced speed because both the wind and the sea is on the nose. My shore crew is trying to find a solution. We're looking at whether there's enough fuel or whether we can rendez-vous with a ship to refuel or organise a tow. I don't understand how it happened. I had about 20 knots of breeze, a bit of chop and not too much sail as I'd reduced earlier this morning. I'm disappointed but I'll have to make do with it for now" detailed Armel Le Cléac'h, contacted at the radio session from the Paris Boat Show.