UPDATE issued by Turn the Tide on Plastic — 2018, 31 March, 10:00 (UTC)
Turn the Tide on Plastic slowed down on Friday at approximately 18:00 UTC following concerns around the integrity of the rig.
Having immediately slowed the boat down by reducing sail area the crew have now carried out a number of investigations. They have identified the starboard side second spreader root, the component used to attach the spreader to the mast has moved causing the spreader to now be raked further aft on that spreader only, therefore resulting in some rig control and alignment issues.
The team have discussed the situation and impact with Southern Spars (VO65 Mast supplier) representatives, rig specialists from the Boatyard and the team’s Technical Shore Manager. Southern Spars have also carried out some modelling of this scenario in their test centre and provided a number of suggestions to the boat to try to re-instate the correct spreader positioning.
The team’s current plan is to continue sailing on port tack with a reduced sail plan therefore reducing the load on this part of the rig. They have sailed this with no further issues for the past 12 hours. When conditions are appropriate they will look at the possibility to adjust the spreader back to its correct position or make other rig adjustments to improve the rig stability.
Skipper Dee Caffari said, “We are back in the game with double points on the scoreboard. Keep your fingers crossed.”
The overall race leader, MAPFRE, resumed racing on Friday morning (UTC) following a Cape Horn pit-stop to make repairs to a torn mainsail, as well as a damaged mast track and boom. The move, which cost MAPFRE nearly 13-hours when they suspended racing, leaves the Spanish team 260-miles behind the fleet, with the leader, Team Brunel, just over 1,600 miles from the finish line in Itajaí, Brazil.
While the team had prepared for the possibility of a stop to repair the mast track by having shore support on stand-by near Cape Horn, the pit-stop became mandatory when the mainsail split into two pieces, torn from luff to leech, just before the Horn.
“We’ve been lucky in a way that we broke it so close by and that we can repair it now with the shore team,” said watch captain Pablo Arrarte.
“The repairs always take longer than you would like,” acknowledged skipper Xabi Fernández. “It is not so easy because the repair of the