UPDATE issued by Turn the Tide on Plastic --- 2018, 31 March, 10:00 (UTC)
Turn the Tide on Plastic slowed down on Friday at approximately 18:00 UTC following concerns around the integrity of the rig.
Having immediately slowed the boat down by reducing sail area the crew have now carried out a number of investigations. They have identified the starboard side second spreader root, the component used to attach the spreader to the mast has moved causing the spreader to now be raked further aft on that spreader only, therefore resulting in some rig control and alignment issues.
The team have discussed the situation and impact with Southern Spars (VO65 Mast supplier) representatives, rig specialists from the Boatyard and the team's Technical Shore Manager. Southern Spars have also carried out some modelling of this scenario in their test centre and provided a number of suggestions to the boat to try to re-instate the correct spreader positioning.
The team’s current plan is to continue sailing on port tack with a reduced sail plan therefore reducing the load on this part of the rig. They have sailed this with no further issues for the past 12 hours. When conditions are appropriate they will look at the possibility to adjust the spreader back to its correct position or make other rig adjustments to improve the rig stability.
Skipper Dee Caffari said, "We are back in the game with double points on the scoreboard. Keep your fingers crossed.”
UPDATE --- 2018, 30 March, 20:00 (UTC)
At 17:30 UTC on Friday afternoon, Turn the Tide on Plastic informed Race Control it had reduced sail to slow down, so the crew could ensure the integrity of its mast/rigging.
An initial inspection has revealed an anomoly in the spreader (a piece of rigging that helps to support the mast) set up. The team has slowed down while it determines what needs to be done before returning to full-load sailing.
Other boats in the fleet are in the area and have been informed of the situation in order to render assistance if needed.