Maud Fontenoy whose yacht suffered a broken mast on Saturday is determined to complete round the world voyage 13/2/07

French yachtswoman Maud Fontenoy who set off on her westabout, L’oreal-sponsored global sailing challenge from Reunion Island last October, 119 days ago, broke her mast just several days from the finish, on Saturday.

Twenty-nine year-old Fontenoy was 900 miles from the Australian coast heading towards the Reunion finish line when the mast aboard the aluminium-built L’Oreal broke at midday on Saturday. Apparently she was sailing at 7 knots in 20-25kts of wind when the mast just snapped and fell down by the side of her.

After the initial shock and disappointment Fontenoy is adament she’ll complete her voyage and began the process of making a jury rig from the boom commenting: “I will try to raise the boom to make a hanger and put up a small sail.” Fortunately the conditions in the Indian Ocean are fairly stable at the moment which should aid Fontenoy’s progress.

Once underway Fontenoy says she should arrive in Reunion in about 10 day’s time, adding: “I will have to summon up patience, I am not a super-hero but I have managed to organize myself and I will try to do everything I can to get there. I feel relieved in that I know my project has not come to a complete standstill.”