Panic major


madforsailing caught up with Graham Dalton who has 10 days to get to Newport to qualify for Around Alone
Graham Dalton at the wheel that was crushed when the mast came down It seems hard to believe that there could be room for two Daltons in the world of offshore racing. But while his younger brother dons his lycra in preparation for an Ironman (a triathlon, but 10 times the distance), it is the elder Dalton, Graham, who is currently entering the public eye as skipper of the brand new HSBC-sponsored Open 60 Hexagon in next month's Around Alone. When madfor sailing caught up with Dalton at the weekend in Hamble, the Hexagon team seemed to be in chaos. On her first attempt to cross the Atlantic the boat dismasted 200 miles out from the Scillies and since returning to the UK the team have had the pedal to the metal attempting to repair the boat, fit it with a replacement rig and get their skipper out to sea again in order to make the start on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Aside from the shore crew, the familiar figure of Phil Wardrop was down below pouring over the chart table muttering about having to take the computers apart - they had packed up. There were also problems with the NKE autopilots, an issue we have heard echoed in other Open 60 campaigns. Graham Dalton, definitely Grant's elder brother - he's taller, has the same irony-laden humour, but lacks Grant's well chiselled features born of relentless early morning runs (and his language is a good deal cleaner) - appeared remarkably relaxed as we sat in Hexagon's cockpit. Dalton described the dismasting. "It was the second morning out of Plymouth, we were 200 miles off the Scillies, it was about 7am blowing 20-25 knots true, we were sailing at about 60 apparent, doing about 15 knots, not much of a

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