Thursday, January 22, 2009

Green Dragon suffered a broken forestay

Photo Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

Whilst in fourth position and approximately 150 miles from the waypoint, Green Dragon sent the following report from onboard

Position: 12,48.74N , 115,57.48E Speed: 11 knots, Course: 347 deg

“At 0930 GMT whilst lying in 4th position and sailing upwind in 17 knots of wind and a short chop, Green Dragon suffered a broken forestay. Quick reactions by the crew who rapidly eased sheets and secured halyards to the bow prevented the loss of the mast and the team will continue to race to Qingdao. Having carried out a rig check Green Dragon is now progressing under J4 and full mainsail with 176 miles to the gate mark off Luzon and just under 1500 miles to Qingdao. It is unlikely we will be able to fly any other headsails without a headstay, which will impair our speed.

This is a bitter disappointment just when we were fighting back up with the leaders. It was a brand new stay at the start of the race and I have no idea why it should break now, if at all. I think it is the same as many or all the other boats in the fleet. The important thing is that nobody was hurt and thanks to the crew’s reactions we did not break the mast. It is especially disappointing, as we wanted to put up a strong performance on this leg to Qingdao. We will keep sailing as fast as we can without jeopardising the rig. As always we will not give up, however the forecast of gales for the next few days is an obvious concern.”

Ian Walker, Skipper