Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above the attachment for the small jib. The Japanese sailor is not in danger and is busy trying to set up a jury rig.
Kojiro is fine and in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and to determine whether it is possible to continue the race. He is safely heading for Cape Town.
Kojiro Shiraishi informed us late yesterday that the wind had increased a notch (35-40 knots) and that he had switched to J-3 (small jib) with three reefs in the mainsail. In the middle of the night the spar broke above the second layer of spreaders. The skipper is fine: he is remaining in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and identify whether it is possible to continue the race aboard Spirit of Yukoh.
The powerful winds which are blowing across practically the whole of the Southern Ocean has led to several incidents with damage reported. Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) had to lower his mainsail in the night following a problem with his mainsail traveller car: he is heading towards the NE towards Amsterdam Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean to see what can be done in calmer conditions. Arnaud Boissières (Le Mie Câline) also had the same problem during the night 350 miles SW of South Africa in winds that were not that exceptional (25-30 knots) but with heavy seas. Finally in Cape Town, Vincent Riou (PRB) set off again in the middle of the morning on Saturday from South Africa with part of his shore team to head for Brittany.
Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline): “I’m getting ready to carry out repairs. In the night my mainsail car broke away from the mast. I am waiting for the wind and especially the sea to calm down to do something about it. The sun is coming up here and I need to get the sail down to change the car… The wind has been very irregular since yesterday evening when the front went over: There isn’t that much wind (25 knots), but the seas are very nasty. I have to find the time today. I’m going to have to slow down… I have a spare part (a brand new car) but I hope the mast track hasn’t been damaged. In fact, I carried out three gybes yesterday and the last one was a little more violent, but I didn’t hear any noise. It was when I looked at the mainsail with two reefs in and the small jib that I noticed that there was a problem. I was surprised by the sea state, as it is very heavy and cross.”
by Vendee Globe