MAPFRE dismasted while training for Volvo Ocean Race
Published on March 30th, 2017
(March 30, 2017) – The third team to enter the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race is the first team to break their mast as they prepare for the October start.
MAPFRE, the Spanish team which competed in the 2014-15 race, incurred the damage at 17:15hrs local time today while the team was sailing about seven nautical miles SW of the island of Ons (Pontevedra) near their home base of Sanxenxo, Spain.
MAPFRE’s mast broke below the first spreader in wind conditions of approximately 25 knots and four meter high waves. The broken mast is what the team used in the 2014-15 race.
“There was a crash and then the rig started to fall to starboard,” explained Pablo Arrarte, MAPFRE’s watch captain who was sailing as skipper of the boat during this period of testing. Spain’s Olympic gold medallist Xabi Fernández is MAPFRE’s skipper for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.
“We were sailing on quite a comfortable reach with waves also from the same direction and so at the moment we do not know why it has broken,” Arrarte continued. “We will have to analyse the data and the damaged parts in order to draw a conclusion.”
The crew have not suffered any injuries and after fully checking for any collateral damage to other parts of the boat it took around two hours of intense work to secure the boat and recover the broken parts of the mast and the sails.
The team was able to return to Sanxenxo under their own power.
2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
• Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
• Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
• MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
• Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 10-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. Seven teams are expected to compete with the hopes for one more.
Source: Scuttlebutt, Volvo Ocean Race