Around Alone dismasting

Disaster for Simone Bianchetti

Sunday October 20th 2002, Author: Mary Ambler, Location: Australasia
This morning at 03.50 GMT, Simone Bianchetti skipper of the Italian 60 Open Tiscali informed his shore-team that he had dismasted. When the mast broke in three parts Bianchetti was inside, the boat was running southwest at 16/20 knots and the weather conditions were rapidly getting worse. The skipper was not harmed in the incident - he is in good condition and is currently recovering all the pieces of the mast and making a jury rig with the intention of heading into La Coruna in Northern Spain, 90 miles from the point where he dismasted.

Simone Bianchetti was lying in sixth place in Class 1 during Leg 2 of the Around Alone race from Brixham to Cape Town when the dismasting happened. He had left the French port of Brest, France at 23:45 UTC on Friday 18th October after spending three days fixing his faulty autopilot systems. At 10:40 GMT this morning he was just to the north of Cape Finisterre in 25 knots of southerly breeze on a heading of 070 (ENE) making about 6 knots while he constructs his jury rig.

Around Alone Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston responded to the news: “We are desperately sorry to hear of Tiscali's dismasting. Simone is a tough and experienced sailor and this will be a great frustration to him. We hope he can clear the mess of mast and rigging from the boat and be able to make a safe port quickly. Since Around Alone is scored on a points system and not elapsed time, Simone could only earn minimum points for this leg if he is able to find a replacement mast and rejoin the race, and this would give him 3 more legs to catch up and show us his metal.”

Under race rules, Simone must sail Tiscali to Cape Town to be eligible to continue racing in Around Alone.

Meanwhile, the other Class 1 boats have survived another night in the storm force conditions while Emma Richards on Pindar has moved into second place ahead of Solidaires as the four Open 60s still at sea head south towards Cape Town.

Positions at 0600hrs GMT 20th October 2002

Class 1
Pos / Boat Name / Lat / Long / Hdg / Btspd / DTF
1 Bobst Group Armor-Lux 35 18.400 N, 22 27.920 W, 107.25 nm, 13.41 kt, 173 °T, 6128.47 nm
2 Pindar 36 11.960 N, 18 26.960 W, 83.32 nm, 10.41 kt, 173 °T, 6223.79 nm
3 Solidaires 36 10.920 N, 14 56.220 W, 76.59 nm, 9.57 kt, 164 °T, 6277.31 nm
4 Hexagon 37 43.640 N, 17 00.040 W, 42.93 nm, 5.37 kt, 216 °T, 6331.61 nm
5 Ocean Planet 42 07.380 N, 8 50.760 W, 0.00 nm, 0.00 kt, 0 °T, 6718.81 nm
6 Tiscali 44 07.680 N, 9 19.840 W, 62.30 nm, 7.79 kt, 220 °T, 6816.84 nm

All other boats are currently in port

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