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25 November 2006, 05:00 pm
STOP PRESS: Ecover's Mast Breaks
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VELUX 5 OCEANS 2006-2007

At 11:50 UTC this morning Ecover, skippered by Mike GOLDING (GBR), broke part of her mast while in the Southern Ocean, some 1,000 miles from Cape Town, South Africa. Only six hours earlier GOLDING had completed the daring rescue of his fellow competitor and compatriot Alex THOMSON (GBR).
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GOLDING confirmed that the mast had broken in two places, the first just above the main spreaders and the second about 1.5 metres from the top of the mast and that he and THOMSON were securing the loose parts of the rig. The mainsail is intact and all the sails are still on board the boat other than the genoa.

Rivals turned comrades, GOLDING and THOMSON are currently working to getting back under sail with a staysail and a reefed mainsail so that they can begin heading to Cape Town, some 1,000 miles away. Lady luck has struck another devastating blow for the British pair.

About The Race

The first leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS started on 22 October from Bilbao, Spain. Six international skippers crossed the start line in the Bay of Biscay bound for Fremantle, Western Australia. The leg is expected to take approximately six weeks with the first boat arriving in Australia around the first week in December.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the longest race for any individual in any sport. Over the first few days, the fleet will make their way along the northern coast of Spain to Cape Finistère where they will turn south towards the Southern Ocean. However, all of the skippers know that this race is a marathon and not a sprint. During the 30,000 miles sailed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race, the yachts will encounter some of the most extreme sea and weather conditions on the planet.

For a complete list of all the news about the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2006-2007 CLICK HERE.

Tim Kelly (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Ecover's mast has broken:© onEdition
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