Update from dismasted Mirabaud

Dominique Wavre describes their plight

Tuesday March 15th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Following their dismasting on Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre and Michelle Paret with the help of Barcelona World Race meteorologist Marcel van Triest motored out of the centre of the depression off the Argentinian coast but with fuel supplies running low, have since been forced to switch off the engine and erect a jury rig with which to get them to safety. As van Triest says they have 500 miles to cover but enough fuel only to cover 80 and must retain enough fuel to power the water maker and the essential instruments. Their exact destination is not certain yet but is likely to be either Bahia Blanca or Mar de Plata.

Wavre reported: "We haven’t had time to really reflect on our situation and to let our emotions go. Since we were forced to abandon the Barcelona World Race, we’ve been working hard to get the boat into some kind of sea-worthy state. We’ve been planning how best to set up a jury rig and trying to get as much cleared up after the hammering we got yesterday.

“Sailing through the storm without the mast to balance out the movement of the boat meant that we were knocked about all over the place and were at serious risk of a knockdown by the waves. Thankfully we got through it and actually we were pretty pleasantly surprised by how the boat dealt with the conditions.”

Mirabaud’s co-skippers have been applauded for their rapid response, their bravery and for making the right decisions in a crisis. “It’s true that our reactions seem very emotionless and pragmatic,” continues Wavre. “But in a situation like this you just don’t have time to ask yourself 36 different questions ; you just have to react, quickly and effectively.”

The priority on board Mirabaud is now to preserve as much energy as possible. “We use dynamo lights, most of our routing instruments are switched off and we are being very careful about our water consumption.”

Based on current predictions, Mirabaud should reach land in anything between 8-15 days, which is well within the capacity of their food
rations. “Michèle is also doing much better than she was this time last week. She helped me enormously during the dismasting; she has been 100% by my side and is, like me, totally focused on the job of getting Mirabaud into port.”

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