Rig problems on the Around Alone yacht Hexagon has forced Graham Dalton to alter course in 40knots of wind

Rig problems have hit Hexagon as skipper, Graham Dalton, battles through unforecast strong winds. “The first thing I knew about the problem was when the mainsail fell down,” reported Dalton shortly after 10am (GMT) yesterday.

Rough seas and winds of up to 40 knots have so far prevented Dalton from making a full assessment of the problem. Determined to continue in the race, he has altered his course slightly and lashed the mainsail to the deck. Hexagon is continuing to make good speed under headsail only, all be it on a less than optimal course.

Though it is clear that the main halyard has failed, why or where the failure has occurred is not yet known. An initial assessment by Dalton using binoculars to look up the rig from the deck indicates that the main halyard sheave box may be damaged. “Until I can get up the rig, I really don’t know what’s wrong,” reported Dalton by satellite phone.

With the sea currently too rough to contemplate climbing the rig, repairs will have to wait until conditions abate.

Latest position report

Class 1 – Open 60s

1. Bobst Group, Bernard Stamm, 2131.75 nm to finish of leg one

2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 2174.74

3. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2242.96

4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 2244.71

5. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 2253.43

6. Garnier, Patrick de Radigues, 2264.39

7. Pindar, Emma Richards, 2327.07

Class 2 – 50s and 40s

1. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, Brad Van Liew, 2364.17

2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 2440.19

3. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 2456.71

4. Bayer Ascenzia, John Dennis, 2462.08

5. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent 2467.75

6. Spirit of Yukoh, no data available