After suffering a broken mast, the PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team has officially retired from Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. The rig onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro failed on Monday, November 21, at around 15:00 UTC in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa. All crew were unhurt.
The team has recovered all pieces of the mast and all sails from the water. They are currently headed toward the island of Tristan da Cunha.
“We’ve just withdrawn from the leg,” said skipper Ken Read. “We have [the mast] jury rigged – we have about 15 feet of mast left. We have our trysail and storm jib awkwardly set. We’re supplementing that with really low revs of the engine just to make forward progress.
“As you can imagine, there aren’t a lot of smiles right now, but one way to make it even worse would be to proclaim that there wasn’t a chance to make the next leg.
“This is about earning points in this race. We think by sacrificing points on this first leg, it gives us a chance to actually earn points for the second leg and the In-Port Race. So, that’s our goal.
“We have all of our fantastic PUMA shore team, the BERG team and of course Volvo all trying to sort it out right now, giving us the help that we need to get to Cape Town in order to make repairs and be ready for the next leg.”
PUMA was in second position in the first leg of the race, sailing from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town when the mast broke. The causes of the dismasting are not known at this stage.
PUMA Ocean Racing’s shore team is working on a recovery plan to ensure the yacht can rejoin the race as soon as practically possible and will work closely with Volvo Ocean Race to determine the cause of the dismasting.
Volvo Ocean Race control is in constant contact with the team to establish the full extent of the damage and ensure the crew are given full support to enable them to deal with the situation.
Further information will be issued as it becomes available.