Mike Golding on his dismasting


madforsailing spoke to the Open 60 skipper about yesterday's disaster
madfor sailing finally got hold of Mike Golding this morning to find out what happened yesterday when the mast on his Open 60 Ecover came tumbling down. Speaking to Mike, one gets the impression he has seen this all before and although it is a pain and a problem which may well result in his withdrawal from the Regate du Rubicon, he remains implacibly philosophical. "It was strange," Golding admitted. "The deck spreader just collapsed. We don’t know quite why yet. Everyone saw the deck spreader break first." The starboard deck spreader used to widen the shroud base on Golding's Open 60 buckled at the bottom close to the mast step. When this happened the four crew who were close to the foot of the mast en route to the new weather rail immediately dived in different directions. These included Guy Barron and Elaine Bunting, Features Editor on Yachting World magazine, who nimbly shot through the gap between the boom and mainsail (we look forward to reading her account). Pascal Conq of Groupe Finot, the designers of Ecover, was on board at the time and received what Mike describes as "a small bump to his head". "Pascal thinks that it was a compression buckling failure," continued Mike. "It was over compressed and just buckled. But the strange thing was it was in the middle of a tack. The boat was through the tack, the new sheet was going on and the new runner wasn't completely on." In fact the load was entirely off the rig - the swing keel was centralised, the crew were not on the rail. If there was a time for a rig to come down, this was not it. When it fell the carbon fibre wingmast did not break. But Golding says that the damage happened

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