Amer Too dismasts

Devastation for Lisa McDonald's team as Amer Sport Too's mast snaps in two

Thursday May 2nd 2002, Author: Andy Rice, Location: Transoceanic
After yesterday's great new about illbruck breaking the monohull 24 hour world record, this afternoon has seen disaster for Lisa McDonald's Amer Sports Too.

The mast on the girl's yacht broke at approximately 1645 GMT while they were at 39deg 14.90N 05deg 821.53W roughly 400 miles to the south east of Halifax, Nova Scotia. No one was hurt during the incident and the yacht is not in danger.

The breakage happened just above the second spreaders. Lisa McDonald reported that the crew had recovered the broken top section and had lashed it to the deck. A 10-metre section of the 26-metre mast is still standing and the crew will use this to erect a jury rig.

At present no reasons have been given for why the mast broke in such benign conditions. McDonald said that at the time of the incident they were sailing under full mainsail and spinnaker in only 12 knots of southwesterly breeze. "There was a loud bang and the mast came down. We don't know why it broke. Once we have sorted ourselves out and got underway again we will take a very close look. There's enough mast left to set up a reasonably effective jury rig.

"We need to assess our options from here," McDonald continued. " We have been talking to the shore crew and syndicate management to see what's feasible. They're working through the possibilities now. One option is to turn around and head for Halifax, Nova Scotia and ship the yacht to France where the spare rig can be stepped," she continued.

McDonald is no stranger to dismasting. She and fellow crewmembers Keryn Henderson, Bridget Suckling and Anna Drougge were on board EF Education when they dismasted in the Southern Ocean during the Whitbread Round the World Race four years ago. Similarly Miranda Merron and Emma Westmacott were on Tracy Edwards' Royal & SunAlliance catamaran which also dismasted in the Southern Ocean during their Jules Verne Trophy attempt in 1997.

Amer Sports Too leaves Annapolis at the weekend. Her mast remains up to the second spreader.

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