Photo: Yann Riou/Groupama/Volvo Ocean Race

Groupama dismasts - jury rig or new rig?

Mast broke at first spreaders as French VO70 was leading the Volvo Ocean Race north

Wednesday April 4th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

It was around 1500 UTC today Franck Cammas reported to his shore team that Groupama 4 had dismasted 60 miles offshore Uruguayan while leading the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

At the time of the incident, Groupama was sailing upwind port tack with the wind from the north at 20 knots.

The mast broke at the first spreaders roughly 10m above the deck.

During the incident, Groupama's Kiwi bowman Brad Marsh was slightly wounded in the forearm, but this injury is now under control. Franck Cammas said he was not asking for assistance, but Groupama has temporarily suspended racing.

At present two options are under consideration:

1) To continue racin under jury rig to Itajai, 650 nautical miles away.
2) Head for Punta del Este, await the arrival of the new mast (at present stored in Rotterdam), restep the new mast and then continue racing to Itajai.

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Latest Comments

  • Chr1s 05/04/2012 - 09:42

    Totally agree with strongarm. This race has become a bit of a joke. Only two boats left sailing in this leg - and one of those stopped for repairs. Legs interrupted by shipping stages and half-delayed starts. No boats have finished all the legs without stopping for repairs - I thought we'd done enough of that the first time with the VO70s! Only six starters doesn't help either. I suppose the next race will go through the Suez and Panama canals so they can join up all the best marketing stopovers without having to risk real ocean sailing.
  • paradox 04/04/2012 - 19:33

    Ahmen brother!!
  • strongarm 04/04/2012 - 19:05

    I am all for pushing the boundaries, and all for trying to improve an event, but lets be honest, this edition of the VOR is turning into a farce. legs finishing at 'secret ports' then being loaded onto container ships, mini start legs for the sake of the media, boats that are not up to the job. Every leg has been affected by at least one boat being damaged resulting in them in retiring or not starting the leg. Back to basics I say and to the Southern ocean and boats that are built to last.

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