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Alex Thomson

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  • Difficulty on board: Update from Alex, 8 December

Difficulty on board: Update from Alex, 8 December

TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE 2011

Those of you following the race tracker will have noticed that HUGO BOSS was travelling much slower than the fleet in the first schedule of today. Here’s an update from Alex explaining why:

“At around 4am this morning I was sailing downwind with the A3 sail up – the biggest sail on-board for downwind conditions – I noticed that the sail wasn’t all the way to the top of the mast, so tried to grind it back to the top and in the process the halyard snapped sending the sail crashing into the sea. We were still travelling at around 12 knots, so unfortunately the boat carried on straight over the sail where it got caught around the rudders keel. I spent about 30 minutes trying to pull it free, but it was caught tight, I then

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tried backing the boat up under sail, but nothing helped. Having decided I would have to cut it free and going and getting a knife

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for the job, I had one last attempt at pulling it free and finally managed to get a some of the sail on-board, as I was doing this the boat turned further down wind and I slowly managed to get the whole sail back on board and stowed down below. I haven’t had a chance to inspect the sail yet, so don’t know what damage has been caused. Without the A3 halyard I’m now sailing under a fractional rig, with a smaller sail. I’m pleased I managed to save the sail, but am pretty knackered now as this took over an hour, so I’m planning on getting some sleep now before inspecting the sail and looking at repair options later on today.”

 

Thursday 8th December

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