Kaboom...then a shower of carbon

Orange crewman Nick Moloney recounts his experience of yesterday's mast breakage
Nick at the helm with Bruno Peyron At a time when we should be blasting south towards the Canaries with a 25 knot northerly behind us, Orange is now back at her builders, the Multiplast boatyard in Vannes, France following our disaster yesterday. The breakage has left us all feeling gutted. Since our arrival Bruno [Peyron] has been in lengthy talks with designer Gilles Ollier and his team over what happened. Meanwhile we have been going hammer and tongs to get the mast out of the boat and repaired so that we can set off again. Yesterday morning started like another day at the office. We all arrived at the boat, down at the Porte de Commerce in Brest as normal at 0630 in the morning. When I walked on board I remember thinking we were so ready to go. Everything was prepared and I was really motivated. Finally I was going to realise one of my life's ambitions - to race around the world non-stop. I had tried this just over a year ago when I was on board PlayStation for The Race, but on that occasion we had a number of problems with our sails and a broken daggerboard and Steve [Fossett] decided to abort. Dawn came, the rain ceased and at 0800 we set off from the dock. As we went out through the mouth of the Rade de Brest and set about beating up the Chenal du Fort between Ushant and the French mainland, the wind was gusting from the north and gave us an idea of what we were going to get round the corner on the start line. Beating up this small channel was quite exciting on a boat this big and this fast. As we slowly rounded the top of Ushant to get to the start line it