Friday, October 26, 2007

Pindar Open 60 dismasted for the second time

[Source: Team Pindar] Pindar, the Open 60 built and owned by print and electronic media company Pindar, last night dismasted off the coast of Le Havre, France. Skippered by Brian Thompson, the Open 60 racing yacht was en route to Le Havre, prior to the start of the transatlantic race, the Transat Jacques Vabre, in which she was due to compete in eight days time. The mast fell backwards and then to windward onto the boat and the crew, however there were no injuries and the crew are all safe and well. The mast, rigging and sails were cut free from the hull, which suffered minimal damage, to allow the crew to motor safely into Le Havre.

The dismasting took place nine miles north west of the entrance to the harbour of Le Havre, at 18.15 BST on Thursday 25th October. The boat was sailing close-hauled on port tack, in 12 knots of wind, sailing at a speed of 11 knots. The mast suffered one clean break, just under halfway up the 30 metre high mast, in a slightly lower position than the first breakage suffered by the boat during the Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes Week earlier this year. Despite the structural repairs made to the mast, followed by extensive testing in the Solent and Atlantic including Brian Thompson and Will Oxley’s 1000 nautical mile qualifying sail for the TJV race, it appears that a further structural weakness in the mast remains. Having lost the mast, sails and rigging overboard by cutting them free last night, the team will now further inspect the hull. Brian, Will and the remainder of the Team Pindar Open 60 team will remain in Le Havre, supporting Pindar 40, Pindar’s second entry in the TJV race, skippered by Jo Royle and Alexia Barrier.

Team Pindar Open 60 dismasts for the second time. Le Havre, 26 October 2007. Photo copyright Mark Lloyd

Brian Thompson, skipper of Pindar commented
"The dismasting is a huge set back to our race campaign, forcing us out of the Transat Jacques Vabre race which was due to begin on Saturday 3rd November. My co-skipper for the race, Will Oxley, and crew of Boat Captain Nick Black, Pindar match racing sailor Ian Williams and Team Director Nick Crabtree, amongst others, showed fantastic teamwork in dealing with the dramatic event and it’s a huge relief that no one was hurt. We are incredibly disappointed not to be able to compete, especially so close to the start of the race, and as the team has put in so much hard work to get the boat to this point. Whilst we begin looking into our next options for a new mast, and preparing Pindar for our next competition, the Artemis Transat, in May 2008, Team Pindar will dedicate time to supporting Jo and Alexia in their preparations for the TJV, and we will be following and learning as much as we can from watching other Open 60’s during the race itself."

Team Pindar Open 60 dismasts for the second time. Le Havre, 26 October 2007. Photo copyright Mark Lloyd

Andrew Pindar, Chairman of the Pindar Group commented:
"The news overnight that the rigging on our new Open 60 Pindar has failed for a second time is very disappointing indeed. It is all the more saddening, that this failure has come so close to the start of the Transat Jaques Vabre race, a race that has always been so important to us, over the eight years that we have been associated with the event, and in which Brian and Will were set to excel. We will work to solve the mast’s structural problems that Pindar has experienced as soon as possible, with safety always at the forefront of our minds. It is a great shame for Brian and Will to have to pull out of the TJV race, the only consolation being that such an incident has taken place close to land and a safe harbour, rather than halfway across the Atlantic Ocean."

"It is important however to reflect that ocean racing is always a challenge for the teams who compete. That is a challenge to the crews, to the teams and the owners. Those challenges require commitment, courage and determination, from all concerned. Remaining competitive requires investment of time, energy and finance. Our new boat, Pindar, has been developed to meet those challenges at she will be at the forefront of this sport in the near future. We have great confidence in our boat, which has shown superb speed and winning potential, and with a new mast will continue to compete with the best."

Team Pindar Open 60 dismasts for the second time. Le Havre, 26 October 2007. Photo copyright Mark Lloyd

Pindar 40, Pindar’s second entry in this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre race in the Class 40 fleet, is currently making last minute preparations for the prologue race this Saturday. Skippered by Jo Royle and Alexia Barrier, Pindar 40 is the only all female entry in the 33 boat Class 40 fleet. Ian Williams, Pindar’s top British match racing sailor, will be onboard Pindar 40 calling tactics during the prologue race this Saturday. Currently top of the World Match Racing Tour, which culminates in December, Ian will return to the UK following the race to concentrate on preparations for the final two Tour events in Brazil and Malaysia.


Post a Comment

<< Home