A broken headboard car has put the pressure on Mari-Cha IV's lead in the Rolex Transatlantic Race. Robert Miller reports
It has been a testing day and a half for us here on Mari Cha IV. Around 36 hours ago in very tough conditions, we launched off a gigantic wave and as the boat came crashing down we broke the headboard car and so were forced to drop the mainsail which meant, at one stage, we were down to just a storm jib and trysail.
Since then we have been sailing at around 80 per cent with just the Number 4 jib, a trysail and a triple reefed mizzen but because of the considerable extra force put on the mizzen, we have now also damaged the mizzen luff track. This means that we’re back to the Number 4 jib and a trysail only. Our plan is to continue racing as hard as possible with the sails that we have and, as soon as the weather allows, we will start affecting repairs in the hope that we will be able to get the boat back to full strength as soon as possible.
This has been a tough time for the crew, but we have an enormous breadth of talent and the team has worked hard to minimise the damage and ensure that this [will not affect] morale on board.
This is a historic race with a long way still to go and we won’t be giving up until we’re safely moored in Cowes .