Gilles Martin-Raget / Barcelona World Race

Hugo Boss dismasts

Disaster for Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes at the head of the Barcelona World Race

Thursday January 15th 2015, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: none selected

Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes, skippers of the IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss, which was leading the Barcelona World Race, their mast overboard last night at 21.02 GMT. The yacht was reaching down the Brazilian coast in moderate conditions when there is reported to have been a rigging failure and the mast fell overboard and broke.

Briton Thomson, 40, and Spaniard Ribes, 43 will now cease racing in the Barcelona World Race. The skippers and the shore team are currently evaluating how to get the boat to the nearest landfall, which is likely to be Salvador de Bahia in Brazil which is a significant distance from the boat’s current position.

Stewart Hosford Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing said this evening: "After such a promising start to the 2014-2015 edition of the Barcelona World Race, this has come as a great shock. We have been preparing for this race for over a year, but unfortunately in offshore racing this type of failure sometimes happens. I now just want the skippers to get to safety and to recognise that they, and the team are very upset that this has happened, and to thank our team and our partners for their support. Alex and Pepe were doing a superb job in this race and having spoken to both of them – they are devastated that this rig failure has ended their race."

We understand that the dismasting was the result of a mechanical failure of the furling drum while they were doing a sail change. Following the breakage there was nothing to hold the mast up forward.


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