Over the western Mediterranean Sea an intense low was nearly stationary causing wind reports as high as 50 knots. The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s yacht “Azzam” was dismasted during the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race yesterday during this storm according to an article this morning in “The Telegraph”.
Unbelievable forces those boats are dealing with. With boats, rigging, and sails made of zero stretch carbon these days, there’s no give anywhere in the system when the boat falls off a wave, thus creating RIDICULOUS impact forces to the boat. In this case, something had to give, and the mast happened to be the weak link. Maybe it was a fault in the mast design, or its construction though… At least they weren’t in the Southern Ocean when it happened.