Volvo Ocean Race HQ can confirm that Dongfeng Race Team broke its mast early on Monday (GMT, March 30) but fortunately nobody has been injured and there is no immediate danger to the crew.
The incident happened 240 nautical miles west of Cape Horn at 0315 UTC on Monday, in the final hours of the night onboard Dongfeng.
The crew reported that the mast broke above the third spreader. They are not planning to continue racing on this leg and are heading towards Ushuaia, Argentina, under their own sail.
Reached via Inmarsat, a disappointed Caudrelier said “I’m gutted. As you’ve seen from the position reports we have been on purpose backed off a bit, not attacking in any way. The mast broke without warning, in about 30 knots of wind. We are unable to sail safely on starboard tack, but we are able to make reasonable speed on port tack. We will head towards Ushuaia and assess our options for getting to Itajai”