MAPFRE suspends racing with damaged mast track

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MAPFRE suspends racing to deal with damaged mast track as fleet passes Cape Horn

While the fleet mark a major milestone with the passage of Cape Horn, MAPFRE suspends racing to work on a repair…

MAPFRE, the overall leader in the Volvo Ocean Race, has suspended racing to attend to damage to their mast track.

A section of the mast track came unglued from the mast five days ago, but until now the team has done a good job of limiting the impact of the damage on its performance through various jury-rig solutions.

But now, with 2,000 miles of racing left to the finish line in Itajaí, Brazil, skipper Xabi Fernández has elected to suspend racing as of 18:32:20 UTC, and just six miles west of Cape Horn, to make a more effective repair to both the mast track and mainsail. Three members of the shore team are in the area to assist the sailors.

Under the rules of the Volvo Ocean Race, a team that suspends racing may use its engine, get outside assistance or take on equipment to make a repair.

The penalty for suspending racing is that you must remain out of the race for a minimum of 12 hours, and return to the same location where you suspended before resuming the race. Given the speed of the other boats, this latest development has the potential to knock the overall race leader back significantly.

The forecast, however, works in MAPFRE’s favour. A ridge of high pressure is expected to slow the frontrunners and allow the trailing boats to catch up.