Barcelona World Race- Broken forestay forces stop in Wellington

Estrella Damm Sailing Team - Photo: Media FNOB. Barcelona World Race

Barcelona World Race competitor Estrella Damm have confirmed this morning that they will make a 48hour technical stopover in Wellington after their forestay is reported to have broken and their Solent furling drum.

'We were 15 miles from the southerly point of Cook with Bel five miles behind when the forestay broke. The mast stayed up because of the staysail and the Code Zero stays. The Solent furling drum is also in two pieces. It is impossible to repair this with the material we have on board, we have to make a stop in Wellington to repair and to be able to continue. It is a big disappointment to us. We will also benefit from the stop to repair and make sure the boat is in a state for what is to follow,' reported Alex Pella to Race Direction this morning.

The incident happened around 2100hrs last night (and is clearly visible on the tracking).

This morning Estrella Damm was sailing in just under 11kts of breeze, making upwind and are around 70 miles from Wellington. When the problem happened they are reported to have been sailing in 18kts breeze, sailing upwind, making around 10kts of boat speed.

Clearly the two Barcelona skippers are disappointed but they will also consider that the incident happened close to Wellington and not in the deep south.

Groupe Bel, who are around four miles ahead of Estrella Damm, gave an ETA for Wellington of around 2000hrs UTC this evening.

Meanwhile race leaders Virbac-Paprec 3 are now closing on the 180 degree meridian, at 179 deg 30 m this morning, and are 30 miles to the first Pacific gate’s westerly end and are 70 miles NE of the Antipodes Islands. Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron appear to have around 15kts of NE’ly breeze which will back to the N today and build to 30-40kts. So as they pass the international date line they ‘lose’ a day, going back exactly 24 hours. Another Saturday night, anyone?

In real distance MAPFRE in second place are about 175 miles behind, though 130 miles this morning relative to the rhumb line or orthodromic course. Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez do look like they will profit from getting this new front earlier.

Renault Z.E Sailing Team have made solid progress across the Tasman and are 60 miles from Cape Farewell this morning (UTC) but are now rolling into the lighter breeze generated by this stubborn 'Cape Farewell High'. Pachi Rivero and Toño Piris are have averaged 10.5 to 11kts through the night and were just 110 miles behind Estrella Damm this morning.

Neutrogena has made more than 23 miles on rivals Mirabaud last night and are now 112 miles ahead, and there is a good chance that Ryan Breymaier and Boris Herrmann will continue to gain as Mirabaud looks like they will be first to drop through the back of the frontal system they have, while Neutrogena carry it further. Mirabaud have around 420 miles to Cape Farewell.

Hugo Boss have around 35 kts of NW’ly wind and made 126 miles overnight, averaging 13.7kts while GAES Centros Auditivos have considerable wind strengths today, a long, hard wet and windy Sunday with more than 45kts showing on the weather charts, though it will decrease progressively.

Forum Maritim Catala look like they will have a fairly straightforward day, in moderate breezes passing over the second part of the Aus barrier in 18kts of W’ly wind. Central Lechera Asturiana are at the first part of the Australian barrier, We Are Water are 420 miles to that barrier.