GUYOT environnement - Team Europe has become the second IMOCA 60 to lose their mast on this leg of The Ocean Race in punishing conditions in the Atlantic

Early this morning, Tuesday 9 May 2023, organisers of The Ocean Race have reported that GUYOT environnement – Team Europe has dismasted as the fleet race towards the finish of leg 4 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The team had been racing in the north Atlantic, just over 600 miles east of Newport, Rhode Island when the incident occurred and reports from onboard are that all crew are safe and are working to secure the boat.

On Monday 8 May teams were preparing for a significant amount of wind in the final days of the leg from Brazil to the USA. The weather front was predicted to see southwest winds forecast at 40 knots, gusting as high as 50 knots, which would have been some of the strongest winds the teams have faced in the entire race.

“I’ve been trying to get my head around the forecast for the final couple of days… it’s hard,” said Francesca Clapcich on 11th Hour Racing Team on Monday. “Leg 4 is not over! It’s going to be pretty messy.”

“I think the whole fleet will get tested,” said on board reporter Amory Ross. “We’re making sure we’re prepared going into this and the boat is in good shape. This will be the most wind we have seen all leg. We haven’t even had a reef in since we left Brazil… It’s just one more significant obstacle between here and Newport.”

The Ocean Race 2022-23 – 9 May 2023, Leg 4 Day 16. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe dismasted in the North Atlantic, as they were crossing a weather front, 600nm away from Newport.

For GUYOT environnement – Team Europe this breakage is the second significant incident they have suffered in as many legs, with the team forced to abandon the previous Southern Ocean leg early with hull deformation issues. They managed to make it to Brazil and repair their boat in time for the start of this leg, but with this new development hopes of a good result in The Ocean Race overall have effectively slipped away.

At present, other than the report that all crew are safe onboard GUYOT environnement – Team Europe there is little other information as they struggle to secure the boat and make a plan. However, this is bad news for the race as a whole with this the second boat – in a fleet of 5 – to dismast on this leg after event leaders, Kevin Escoffier‘s Holcim-PRB, lost their mast shortly after the start.

Holcim-PRB has since returned to Brazil under jury rig and have been planning to try to get their boat back to Newport with a new mast in time for the start of the next leg of the race across the Atlantic. The one-design IMOCA 60 masts are in relatively short supply, with very few spares around. However, there have been a number of new boat launches in recent months, so the option of buying or borrowing another IMOCA 60s mast is potentially on the table.

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