Racing

And Then there were Three?

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Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg’s Volvo 70 Mar Mostro has suffered serious damage to its mast, making it the third of the six boats in the fleet to suffer damage in the first of nine legs making up the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.

"We were sailing on a port tack, beam reaching in 22-23 knots of breeze, heading northeast with eight to 10 foot waves, when the mast failed. There were no warning signs. There was no panic on board, and all crew are safe and well," said Mar Mostro skipper Ken Read. "Thanks to amazing seamanship, the three pieces of the mast and all of the sails were recovered. We haven’t suspended racing at this point and are weighing our options. At this point we are not using our engine, but are taking some time to clear our heads and evaluate next steps. Our plans may include heading to the island of Tristan da Cunha – about 700 nautical miles from us, nearly on the way to Cape Town."

Mar Mostro’s rig failed at approximately 1500 UTC in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa. At the time she was in second place, chasing at the heels of Team Telefonica, with its Spanish skipper Iker Martinez.

The first leg, which started 17 days ago in Alicante, Spain, has proven to be a true boat buster, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and China’s Team Sanya both sustaining damage just hours into the race that forced them to withdraw.

"These are the saddest and most disappointed 11 people on earth. We were in a comfortable second position, traveling south to get into the final front and head across the southern Atlantic towards Cape Town," Read said. "We were planning to be there in five days. At this stage, my goal is to make sure we get this crew back safely and we will then look at options as to how to get back in this race."

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