Bruno Peyron’s maxi-cat Orange has been dismasted off la Ciotat, France

The maxi-catamaran Orange, recent winner of the Jules Verne Trophy (round-the-world crewed sail record), was dismasted yesterday evening as she was rallying off her technical base of La Ciotat. Her skipper Bruno Peyron was not on board and none of the crew of eight was injured.

Although the boat was sailing with shortened sail (3 reefs in the main and a staysail), she was caught in a hail storm, generating wind which kicked up surprisingly fast.

It would appear that the chainplate of the lower port shroud (cable which holds the mast up) exploded under the wind’s pressure, bringing down the mast, which then broke into three pieces. The crew freed the rigging very quickly so that the broken pieces of the mast would not damage the hull.

The Orange giant arrived in La Ciotat harbour at around 2300 yesterday evening under engine power. As soon as possible, the pieces of mast will be examined by experts in order to understand how the incident occurred.

The maxi-catamaran Orange had recently returned from Great Britain where she had attempted to beat the Round Britain and Ireland record, and was on stand-by to attempt the Mediterranean record from Marseille to Carthage (Tunisia).