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Crew repair yacht mast while racing in rough seas

A skipper whose boat is taking part in a round-the-world yacht race has told Sky News of his relief after a mast repair worked on the second attempt.

The metal runner that holds up the mainsail on the AkzoNobel was ripped out during a change of direction in high winds.

It meant the team had to stop racing while they tried to fix the problem, and fell about 300 miles behind the leaders of the Volvo Ocean Race.

They tried to glue the track back on – but the first time it did not work as a big wave tore it off.

However, a second attempt was successful and the team was able to re-hoist the mainsail. They are now back to full speed for the first time in three days in the middle of the Southern Ocean – some 2,000 miles from land.

Damage to Team Akzonobel yacht
Image:
A metal runner that holds up the mainsail on the AkzoNobel was ripped out

Skipper Simeon Tienpont said it had been a “frustrating” period and he hoped to gain back some miles from the main pack.

He said: “It (the track) needed to be glued back on. We couldn’t bolt it. With big seas and a lot of wind it wasn’t an easy job.

“The first attempt we failed. We cleaned it up again and this time it holds on. We put the main sail up and we’re on our way again.”

More from Sky Ocean Rescue

The teams are currently on the third leg of the race from Cape Town to Melbourne.

As part of Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign, the broadcaster has been following the crews taking part in the event, which started in Alicante in October and will end at The Hague next June.

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