(More) disaster in Marseilles
This afternoon in relatively benign conditions with a sea breeze not exceeding force four, Stève Ravussin's Banque Covefi dismasted, followed minutes later by Thomas Coville's Sodebo.
On Banque Covefi the stainless steel terminal between the mast and the roller furling Solent jib is believed to have broken causing the mast to tumble aft. The mast was broken. This is unfortunate timing as Ravussin's sponsor Banque Covefi is believed to be withdrawing their sponsorship of the Swiss skipper at the end of this season.
For Thomas Coville the situation is less terminal. The port shroud released itself causing the mast to tumble over the side to leeward. The mast struck the water before hitting the float and as a result survived intact. As the photo above illustrates, the crew were successfully able to salvage the mast, rigging and sails and if they work night and day there is a chance they may sail on Saturday.
In Marseilles it is felt that the breakages occurred through fatigue following two transatlantic races and three Grand Prix. The incidents will have all the crew scurrying to check their gear thoroughly before tomorrow's racing.