Ripped sail in 40kts of wind forces Jonny Malbon and team to retire from Rolex Fastnet Race 14/8/07

Jonny Malbon’s Artemis Ocean Racing has retired from the Fastnet Race last night in 40kts of wind just four hours off Land’s End.

According to the latest news from the boat it was at 0100 when mainsail ripped just as Jonny Malbon and Graham Tourell were putting in a third reef.

Commenting from the boat Malbon said: “?it was a horrible sea state but the boat felt good and we were in touch with the leaders? to sail the rest of the race with three reefs would never have worked, we wouldn’t be able to fly any spinnakers or any other sails. It’s a big disappointment but we decided there was no option to continue especially as the wind was up to 40 knots. This set back does not change anything, we will fix the sail and are also awaiting a new sail; our preparations for the Transat Jacques Vabre in November will continue as scheduled.”

The crew is now returning to Southampton and is expected to arrive at 1200 today, all of the crew are unharmed and in good spirits. Next event is the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre in November.