Further rig problems force Tony Bullimore to abort round the world record attempt 11/5/07

British yachtsman Tony Bullimore has aborted his latest solo circumnavigation attempt following further rig problems.

According to the latest news from the press office a 50mm pin holding the forestay on his 102ft catamaran Doha lost a retaining bolt and begun to pull out.

Bullimore commenting on the situation said: “If the pin had pulled out completely, the rig would have fallen down and I would have been left adrift.

“When I found it during a daylight check of the rig a few days ago, my heart almost stopped. With the rig under so much tension, there is no way of banging the pin back in place. In fact, it is the tension that has stopped it from falling out altogether.”

Bullimore spent several hours lashing the forestay to Doha’s main beam to secure both the stay and the rogue pin, and having already chosen to head north away from a low pressure system that was to sweep over his course on 9 May, is now diverting to New Zealand to affect repairs.?
Bullimore continued: “I’m devastated, particularly after the promising start I had from Hobart when I was running ahead of the record. I have devoted the past two years preparing for this solo round the world attempt. I can only assume that the retaining bolt came loose during the bashing Doha received in the 50knot winds experienced a week ago. All I can say is thank goodness it happened now and not when I was deep in the Southern Ocean or close to Cape Horn.”

The rig is now secure and I am sailing under reduced canvas northwards to New Zealand. Once repairs have been completed, I will sail back to Hobart and re-start the Blue Ocean Wireless Round the World Challenge later in the year.”?
Neither Bullimore nor his catamaran are in any danger. Doha is currently 1,155 miles south-east of Wellington but currently facing headwinds, which are forcing the British yachtsman to sail north-east for the moment which will delay his arrival in Auckland.