Open 60 Artemis Ocean Racing lost her mast this afternoon on day four of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Jonny Malbon and Graham Tourell are safe 6/11/07

Artemis Ocean Racing was dismasted this afternoon off the coast of Spain on day four of the Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Bahia in Brazil.

The British IMOCA Open 60, skippered by Jonny Malbon and Graham Tourell, was sailing in 35 knots of breeze when the incident occurred at around 1420 GMT. The cause of the dismasting is not yet known.

The mast broke close to the deck and fell forwards onto the boat, along with the boom and sail. The rig has been cut free and the boat is heading towards the Spanish town of Vigo, which is 100 miles to east.

Malbon, 33, and Tourell, 31, were unharmed in the incident. The pair is described as “shattered but safe”.

Artemis was in 10th position when the dismasting happened. The incident means that Artemis’ participation in the bi-annual race is now at an end.