Central Lechera Asturiana breaks mast
At around 1815 GMT this evening the mast of Central Lechera Asturiana broke with half of the spar falling into the water. Co-skippers Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio report they are uninjured and have been successful in recovering the broken half of the spar, plus the genoa which went in the water and all of the standing rigging is reported to be largely intact.
They have managed to set a jury rig comprising part of their mainsail and a small staysail and were making a speed of around 7 knots towards Farewell Point.
“Fortunately there has not been any injuries of any kind to either of us, both Fran and I are fine,” Merediz confirmed in a phone conversation with his team. “We do not wish to retire. We wish to carry on.”
Central Lechera Asturiana are heading for Wellington which was 290 miles from their reported position. On arrival in the New Zealand capital they will carry out a detailed assessment of the damage with representatives of North Sails and Southern Spars.
When the incident happened this evening the IMOCA Open 60 was approximately 160 miles west of Cape Farewell, heading for the Cook Strait, lying in 11th place in the Barcelona World Race.
Speaking this morning Merediz had been ruing the extremely light winds which they had encountered through Sunday and part of Monday but today were revelling in fresh breezes, reporting at the time over 30 knots of wind causing the boat to surf at 22 knots at times.
Merediz and Palacio have told Race HQ in Barcelona that when the rig gave way they were making around 15 knots in around 20-25 knots of wind at 140-160 degrees in a heavy cross sea.
After breaking their mast off Lisbon on 2 December while on a delivery from Sanxenxo to Barcelona, they won their three week race to step a replacement rig on time and managed to make the race start on 31 December.
Central Lechera Asturiana made a technical pit-stop Cape Town to repair their hydraulics for their keel ram.
The boat raced in the first edition of the Barcelona World Race with Pachi Rivero and Javier ‘Bubí’ Sanso as Mutua Madrileña and completed the 2004-5 Vendée Globe in third place as Mike Golding’s Ecover 2.