Wednesday July 3rd 2002, Author: Mary Ambler, Location: none selectedThierry Dubois and his Open 60 Solidaires were in Germany last week for Kieler Wocher to promote their project with marine clothing manufacturer Marinepool for Around Alone 2002/3: 'Human Rights Around The World'. But on Thursday while negotiating the Kiel Canal, Solidaires was in a collision with another boat, heading in the opposite direction. The rigs of both boats became entangled but the hulls did not make contact as both helms took avoiding action.
But as a result of this violent contact, the rigging on Solidaires' port side was ripped, although the mast remained upright. Her skipper Thierry Dubois suffered a sharp fall, but the other crew were unharmed. On the other boat which was also under sail at the time, the 30m mast broke completely in two and three crew were injured, one seriously. The other boat accepted that they were in the wrong when the incident was dealt with by the police.
Solidaires seemed not to have suffered much, but on closer inspection the mast has been seriously damaged (all the spreaders and attachment bolts were ripped out) and may be beyond repair. Taking into account the time it will take to fabricate a new mast, the boat will have to be shipped to Newport, RI by cargo to make the start line on time.
This accident will not jeopardise the participation of Solidaires in Around Alone, and the only constraint will be to finish the preparation of the boat in Hamburg and Newport, RI.