Mollymawk - the only 50ft catamaran still racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre - has suffered damage to her mast support
Ross Hobson and Andi Newman aboard Mollymawk – the only 50ft catamaran still racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre – this morning reported serious damage to the mast support. At the time of the incident they were at a position of 00 48.477N 28 38.735W – approximately 1,000 miles to go the finish. Apparently there was a massive cracking noise. On inspection it was found the mast column support box had fractured just below deck which has allowed the mast base to flex/bend about 1inch and has cracked surrounding deck. Damage was probably due to pounding into a rather lumpy 6-8ft sea.
The boys on board commented: “We dropped the main and have used scavenged timber to reinforce the box so things do not progress/worsen. We are continuing to Salvador de Bahia as it is the best port for carrying out repairs – it will mean lifting out mast and rebuilding support box and surrounding deck – about 2-3days work.
“At present we are under jib alone as we assess how our temporary repairs are holding and while we gain information from our support team over how much mainsail we can set without overloading the structure. If the sea state settles we will try to set more sail and add additional reinforcing with epoxy/glass/carbon to repair.
“At present progress it is five days to Bahia, although it could be less. No one injured, just our hopes of getting past the 50s – it’s fairly glum on board at present.”