Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Barcelona World Race this evening lost their mast at 21.02 GMT. The yacht was reaching in moderate conditions when there was a rigging failure and the mast fell overboard and broke.
This means they will now cease racing in the Barcelona World Race 2014 -2015. The skippers and the shore team are currently evaluating how to get the boat to the nearest landfall, which is likely to be Salvador in Brazil which is a significant distance from the boat’s current position.
Stewart Hosford Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing said this evening:
“After such a promising start to the 2014-2015 edition of the Barcelona World Race- this has come as a great shock. We have been preparing for this race for over a year, but unfortunately in offshore racing this type of failure sometimes happens. I now just want the skippers to get to safety and to recognise that they, and the team are very upset that this has happened, and to thank our team and our partners for their support. Alex and Pepe were doing a superb job in this race and having spoken to both of them – they are devastated that this rig failure has ended their race.”
Background: The third edition of the Barcelona World Race is the only double-handed, non-stop, round the world race. Eight IMOCA 60 teams started December 31, 2014, with the intent to cover 23,450 nautical miles in a circumnavigation from Barcelona to Barcelona, putting the capes of Good Hope (South Africa), Leeuwin (Australia) and Horn (Chile) to port and the Antarctic to starboard. The finishes are forecasted for the end of March 2015.