Damage to the track that attaches the mainsail to the back edge of the mast on team AkzoNobel’s Volvo Ocean 65 race boat has forced the crew to slow the boat down as the sailors assess the problem and try to identify potential repair options.
The damage, which was reported to Volvo Ocean Race control by email from team AkzoNobel navigator Jules Salter (GBR) this morning, happened as the crew was in fourth place, gybing along the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone (AIEZ) in 35 knots of wind and big seas.
During one gybe from starboard to port the mainsail track on the mast was damaged in two places. The sailors were able to lower the mainsail and turn the boat away from the AIEZ and are continuing to race using the boat’s forward sails only.
There are no reports of any injuries on board as a result of the damage and the crew is liaising with Volvo Ocean Race’s race control staff and the team’s land based technical shore crew to establish what repair options are available to them.
Standby for further updates as we get them.