Tough & Tragic

posted in: Sailing | 0

During Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, conditions both west and east of Cape Horn were extreme, with loss of life and equipment damage.

Man overboard and lost at sea.
On Monday 26 March, Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag lost John Fisher overboard in the Southern Ocean, approximately 1,400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn. The wind in the area at the time was a strong 35-knot westerly, with extreme sea state. Water temperature was 9-degrees Celsius.

Damaged mast track and mainsail.
During Leg 7 a section of MAPFRE’s mast track came off. On day 12, MAPFRE’s mainsail split in two.

On board MAPFRE, moments after a break the main sail, 6 miles before rounding Cape Horn. Sophie, Blair and Pabbblo on deck, 29 March, 2018. (c) Ugo Fonolla/Volvo Ocean Race.

MAPFRE decided to temporarily suspend racing at Cape Horn to affect repairs. Under VOR rules, a team that suspends racing may use its engine, get outside assistance or take on equipment to make a repair. The penalty for suspending racing is that they must remain out of the race for a minimum of 12 hours, and return to the same location where they suspended before resuming the race. As a result of the breakage MAPFRE finished 5 days behind the leaders and had to ration food and fuel.

Watch some footage of the tear and the fix below:

Dismasting.
Vestas 11th Hour Racing was dismasted east of Cape Horn, and the crew was forced to cut away the broken mast to avoid damage to the hull. The boat wss approximately 100 miles southeast of the Falkland Islands, and motored there after they lost their mast. Since them the shore team has been prepping the boat to motor to Itajai for the next leg.

Rig Damage.
At 17:30 UTC on Friday afternoon, March 30, Turn the Tide on Plastic informed Race Control it had reduced sail to check unspecified damaged to its mast/rigging. A spreader had been damaged and moved out of position. They sailed on a port tack with reduced sail (reducing load) until they were able to adjust the spreader back into its proper position.

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