Mirabaud dismasts

Disaster for Franco-Swiss couple in the Barcelona World Race

Saturday March 12th 2011, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: none selected

In the Barcelona World Race, sixth placed Mirabaud was dismasted shortly after 1600GMT. The crew are unharmed and are currently securing the different sections of mast. The Race Committee were informed of the dismasting at 1646 GMT.

At the time of the incident the yacht, sailed by Dominique Wavre (SUI) and Michèle Paret (FRA), was sailing in difficult conditions, having experienced strong headwinds and rough seas since this morning. Earlier Wavre had reported that the wind was strong, although not storm force, and big seas.

At 1640 GMT Wavre informed his shore team of the breakage during a very brief radio transmission.

“We are not injured,” he reassured the head of his shore team, Magali Paret, before returning on deck to secure the different sections of the broken spar. At the time of writing this operation is still underway.

Mirabaud’s current position is 650 nautical miles east of Argentina and 450 miles north of the Falkland Isles. The weather outlook is not good as the duo are at the front end of a gale.

Race Director Denis Horeau has informed the MRCC of the incident and the rescue services are closely following Mirabaud’s situation.

We have since heard that the mast broke above the third set of spreaders (similar to Foncia). They were unable to stabilise the broken section, which after time destoryed the lower spreaders.

In the end Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret decided to bring the mast down in the most controlled fashion they could. This procedure accounted for some broken stanchions but otherwise the boat itself is largely undamaged. They have successfully saved the boom which will be used to set a jury rig as and when the weather and their energies allow, they will head for Argentina.

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