Anything can still happen in this first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race (from Alicante to Cape Town): no predictions yet. However, one “prize” we can already award: the “McGyver trophy” goes to the French/Chinese crew of Dongfeng Race Team, who after having a rudder blade failure a few days ago, also had to deal with the damage caused by the breakage of the gennaker sheet system. The guys immediately set to work to save the day, managing to get away with only 5 miles lost.Charles Caudrelier and co. thus maintain second position, behind Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, with just under 800 miles to go. Here is video of the accident and repair operations.
THOSE CHINESE MCGYVERS…
THE ACCOUNT OF THE ACCIDENT
This is the crew’s account directly from Dongfeng’s Facebook page, “It was just after 18 UTC when on board part of the gennaker sheet system at the masthead broke and the heavy loads that line was subjected to was discharged onto the leeward side of the deck, causing extensive damage. No one was injured, despite significant damage to the deck equipment. Immediately the crew set to work to create an alternative system and quickly return to racing.” As bowman Kevin Escoffier explained. “We are a little slower because we don’t have the same configuration as before. But not much slower. We are thinking about how to set up for the next few days.”
Dongfeng’s people then found an alternative attachment point, a temporary solution but one that allowed them to return to full power sailing. During the course of the operation, which lasted just over half an hour, the team lost about 5 miles as their speed had dropped from an average of 22 knots to 12. The rest of the night, despite the strong wind and wave conditions on deck, went well and the crew managed to maintain their second position and according to the latest position survey is only eight miles behind leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
Damage to the boat includes a broken rudder wheel, which could be a problem when the team jibes and is therefore forced to steer with the other wheel, having reduced sail visibility. An outrigger (bouncer) is also broken, the aft pulpit was damaged, as were the aft stanchions but not the deck area on which they are mounted, and the Satcomm C antenna.
Positions as of 06:40 UTC on Monday, November 3, 2014
1 – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 855 miles to go.
2 – Dongfeng Race Team – 8 miles behind the leader
3 – Team Brunel – 27 miles behind the leader
4 – Team Vestas Wind – 60 miles behind leader.
5 – Team Alvimedica – 139 miles behind the leader
6 – MAPFRE – 309 miles behind leader.
7 – Team SCA- 442 miles behind the leader