A Sad Day for France

On the evening of January 25th, sailors involved in the Barcelona World Race were chasing the leader Virbac-Paprec 3 south toward the Cape of Good Hope. Virbac-Paprec 3 had opened up its lead on the #2 boat Fonica, skippered by Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart, from 5 miles to over 40 miles, although a big high pressure system was working into their path,
Author:
Updated:
Original:

On the evening of January 25th, sailors involved in the Barcelona World Race were chasing the leader Virbac-Paprec 3 south toward the Cape of Good Hope. Virbac-Paprec 3 had opened up its lead on the #2 boat Fonica, skippered by Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart, from 5 miles to over 40 miles, although a big high pressure system was working into their path, threatening to disrupt the leaders’ perfect runaway.

But around 0345 hours on the morning of the 26th, second place Desjoyeaux and Gabart contacted the Barcelona World Race operators to announce that their mast had broken upwards of the solent and the staysail forestays, 24 meters above the deck. Fonica had been sailing for the previous eight hours under a reefed main and solent jib with 30kts of southwesterly winds, averaging 18kts per hour. They gracefully retired from the rest of the race.

Desjoyeaux reported that the rigging – main and solent jib – was still in place, with nothing lost overboard. The solent jib, which had been unfurled during the demasting, twisted itself around the broken mast with the damaged section hanging down on the rig, supported by the halyards. With the main furled to its third reef, Desjoyeux reasoned that with the current weather conditions holding they would reach Cape Town under sail, by the 30th or 31st of this month. Neither crew member reported any personal injury, and they did not request assistance as they began the 600 mile trek to Cape Town.

Fellow Frenchmen Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron aboard Virbac-Paprec 3 sent the following message to their competition: “Hello guys, this is really not good news. We really had become inseparable, motivating each other all the time, asking ourselves each day if we could hold up this pace until the end. It's been a great honour to have been in this battle together. Good luck for the rest of the passage and our hearts go with you”.

For more on the Barcelona World Race, please visit www.barcelonaworldrace.com/en

Related

2.4mR's racing at the 2018 Clagett Regatta-US Para Sailing Championships credit Clagett Regatta-Andes Visual

Host for 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships Announced

The 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships will be hosted by The Clagett Regatta at Sail Newport, in Newport, R.I. on August, 24-29, 2021, according to a joint announcement from the host and US Sailing. "We have had a very long working relationship with US Sailing and look forward ...read more

Reflections-photo-CMerwarth

Cruising: Reflections of an Old Salt

I am 90 years old, dwindling in mind and body and fear living too long. Twenty years have passed since I last weighed anchor. Still, when a Carolina blue sky is polka-dotted with billowing cumulus clouds and the wind blows fair, I sorely miss raising sail and setting forth. I ...read more

DSC_0145

Waterlines: Solo Sailing

In spite of the fact I came to the sport of sailing alone and untutored, in a boat I acquired on my own, I never really aspired to become a solo sailor. It just sort of happened. All these years later, I still never explicitly plan to sail anywhere alone. I’m always happy to ...read more

01a-DJI_0398

Racing The M32 Class

This year the M32 celebrates its 10th birthday. Swedish Olympic bronze medalist Göran Marström and Kåre Ljung designed the M32 in 2011 as the latest addition to an already impressive portfolio that includes the Tornado, M5 A-Class, M20 catamaran and the Extreme 40. Two years ...read more

01-LEAD-23274-Coastal-Oilskins-GSP

Know how: Cleats, Clutches and Jammers

Since the invention of rope, there has also been a need to belay or secure it. Every sailboat has rope on board so, unless you own a superyacht with captive reels or winches, you’re going to have to find a way to make it fast. (As a side note—and before you reach for your ...read more

9e4d8714-2a8e-4e79-b8f6-c9786aaec4d0

Antigua Sailing Week Announces Women’s Mentorship Program

In partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association, Antigua Sailing Week is launching a mentorship program to encourage women and girls to join the sport of sailing. President of Antigua Sailing Week, Alison Sly-Adams says, “When we devised the program, we looked at ...read more

01-LEAD-Carmody-Distant-Drummer

Experience: A Badly Snagged Prop in Haiti

When a winter norther blows through the Bahamas, the northeast trades can reach gale force as they funnel through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti. After waiting for a lull, though, we had a fabulous beam reach aboard our Liberty 458, Distant Drummer, from Santiago de ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_9186

Charter Cruise to La Paz Mexico

Just 24 hours before our scheduled charter in the Bahamas, the government clamped down again on visitors from the United States. Having endured two Covid-19 brain swabs in preparation, I looked at my packed bag on the floor and reached for the rum. I could, at least, pretend I ...read more