Ludde Ingvall's 90ft maxi Diabetes dismasts off Sydney Heads 20/12/06

At around 1445 this afternoon, Wednesday 20 December, the mast on Ludde Ingvall’s 90ft maxi Diabetes, an entrant in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart, allegedly compressed and fell down during a training sail off Sydney Heads.

A disappointed Ingvall reported the team was conducting sail testing in a 16-17 knots easterly breeze with a reefed main and small jib when the incident occurred. The mast appeared to compress, according to Ingvall, before falling overboard.

Immediately the crew set about cutting it away from the boat, a process which took approximately 15 minutes. The rig was not recovered. Ingvall praised the efforts of his crew during the incident. Ingvall said: “This is very disappointing but I intend to continue doing whatever I can to raise awareness of the diabetes epidemic. I have received an overwhelming amount of support from all over the world in the week since announcing I would take on this new challenge. I would like to thank the crew and everyone involved so far. While the race for diabetes will not commence on Boxing Day I am committed to making a difference and today’s events have done nothing to change that.”

With little to no chance of finding another mast for a boat that size with only six days to race start, a fleet of 79 will now line up on Tuesday 26 December for the Boxing Day start of the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Ingvall was planning to race south this year to raise awareness about diabetes, which he was diagnosed with this year.