We’ve received an email from Equilibrium who have advised they are sailing under mainsail only.
As we know that you are all following us on tracker you may have noticed that we have slowed somewhat.
At approx 01:30 this am we discovered that the mast forestay had come loose and in fact detached itself from the bow fitting. Immediate action was taken by all crew to secure the mast with halyards as quickly as possible. We dropped the spinnaker ok and have lashed the forestay to the back of main / mast.
We are now sailing under mainsail only downwind towards the Noumea reef entrance at around 10 kts and we were approx 200nm from that point.
Everyone on board is ok albeit very upset that this has happened but of course relieved everyone is ok and the mast seems secure.
We are now back on watch systems and will have a fuller assesment of our forestay situation at first light in a few hours.
We have contacted Taupo Maritime radio advising them of our situation, we have not requeted assistance just given them an advisory call. They in turn have contacted race control. We will keep them updated of our progress.
We will update you all in due course and you can still see us on tracker of. As we are still sailing we have NOT retired from the race and may in fact be able to finish as the wind direction is ok to achieve this currently.
Best wishes from the Equilibrium crew
Report from Taupo Maritime Radio:
Good morning Royal Akarana Yacht Club – Auckland to Noumea Yacht Race.
Equilibrium phoned MOC this morning at 0141 nzst advising of a situation on board that they wanted to report.
Unknown why but their forestay had come undone and was loose while under full sail heading down wind.
Equilibrium had secured the loose forestay to the mast and have used a couple of strong halyards lashed forward to keep the mast pressure on.
They have also reduced sail back to just mainsail. They intend to carry on to Noumea but reassess everything at daybreak when they can get a better look at the mast and forestay and halyards. Equilibrium will update MOC once that assessment was completed.
Position at 0141 nzst was 25 39.410S 167 51.698E steering 005M at 8.5kts.
Weather was fair and sea was moderate with a Sou’easter of about 20kts.
All crew on board are well and ok.
Equilibrium has not asked for any assistance at this time.
Equilibrium said their Yellow Brick tracker was still working and tracking.
The MOC immediately alerted the Rescue Coordination Centre.
Equilibrium asked the MOC to advise race control as well.