Ben Ainslie Diary


From Auckland our Laser Gold brings us up to date with his progress with the One World AC campaign
I hadn't realised the world of the spin-doctors ventured as far as New Zealand but over the past couple of weeks there have been plenty of rumours here in Auckland - and most have been about the OneWorld Challenge. The week before last started off a little rough when a mast broke. The rig failure was actually quite graceful as the mast snapped like a matchstick and then fell down to the water. I was on board the yacht and it was a shock as one minute we were carrying out a simple manoeuvre, then a few seconds later we were towing the mainsail behind us. A couple of people went overboard as the boat suddenly righted itself, and Matt Mason scored ten out of ten for his swallow dive as a piece of carbon came flying towards him. We were fortunate that the breeze was offshore and so the sea state was flat, helping us to regain control of the rig. It quickly became apparent as to which members of the team had been involved in this process before, as the plan was formulated to recover the mast. It was also reassuring to see Team New Zealand quickly on the scene to provide assistance, had it been needed. It reminded me of One Australia and Team New Zealand in the ’95 cup, fortunately we weren’t sinking! While big gear breakages are potentially very dangerous and expensive we can all learn from this failure. The temporary loss of a mast will not affect our sailing schedule and the design team will be able to assess what happened, and how, in order to produce a better rig further down the line. It left us with one boat temporarily out of action, but the other boat still went out training. The following day was quite

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