Foncia report their dismasting and retire from the Barcelona World Race

Following the first news this morning of Foncia’s breaking their mast top this report was sent from Foncia’s Michel Desjoyeaux and François Gabart at 0659hrs this Wednesday morning.
Foncia © B.STICHELBAUT / SEA&CO “On January 26th 2011 at 0240hrs UTC positioned at 41°12,6 S and 8°59,8 E Foncia was sailing a course of 115 degrees at an average of 18 knots under Solent and one reef with the wind at 140 degree blowing at 25-30 knots, wind swell, and had the same conditions for around eight hours. The mast broke above the solent hound, in other words around 25 metres above the deck (27.3m long tube). The rigging is still up held in place by the lower shrouds, the runners, the staysail stay and main jib stay. The broken section is hanging down at 20m up and is still held in place by the halyards. The solent, unfurled, because in use when the damage occurred was twisted around the whole mast.

The mainsail is held by its halyard at the third reef. Everything has stayed on board, nothing lost overboard. I can’t hide our disappointment, but we are healthy except I have a little pain in my right thumb which I got when I was trying to get the Solent under control.

We do not ask for any assistance. We are currently trying to head for Cape Town under sail, around 600 miles off. Our current speed is 11 knots course 76 deg. The forecasts for the next few days show no risk (today 25 to 30 knots from the S, weakening and clocking W). In two days the passage of the anticyclone (bringing light winds). If the seas are slight then maybe we will have the chance to climb the mast to recover the pieces and to be able to drop the mainsail. After that we should see 20-25 knots from the SE in to Cape Town.
Our ETA Cape Town then should be 30th or 31st January.
We retire from the Barcelona World Race.”

Their close rivals Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron onboard Virbac-Paprec 3 sent the Foncia duo this message of solidarity: “Hello guys, this is really not good news.
We really had become inseparable, motivating each other all the time, asking ourselves each day if we could hold up this pace until the end. It's been a great honour to have been in this battle together. 
Good luck for the rest of the passage and our hearts go with you”. Foncia are scheduled to be on today’s videoconference from 10h00 GMT in French and English.
Foncia report their dismasting and retire from the Barcelona World Race Foncia report their dismasting and retire from the Barcelona World Race Reviewed by Panos Douros on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 Rating: 5

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