Vestas suffers dismasting south of Falkland Islands

VESTAS 11TH HOUR RACING SUFFERED a dismasting during Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race between Auckland, New Zealand, and Itajai, Brazil. The crew is unharmed. Above, Mark Towill of Vestas 11th Hour Racing on day 12 of the current leg of the race. / COURTESY VOLVO OCEAN RACE
VESTAS 11TH HOUR RACING SUFFERED a dismasting during Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race between Auckland, New Zealand, and Itajai, Brazil. The crew is unharmed. Above, Mark Towill of Vestas 11th Hour Racing on day 12 of the current leg of the race. / COURTESY VOLVO OCEAN RACE

PROVIDENCE – Vestas 11th Hour Racing suffered a dismasting nearly 100 miles south of the Falkland Islands, but all crew members are safe, according to the Volvo Ocean Race Friday.

The ship’s mast broke above the first spreader but has been cut away to protect the hull from damage. At the time of the break, Vestas was sailing in a 25- to 30-knot wind.

The boat is now motoring to the Falkland Islands to evaluate the crew’s next steps to get to Itajai, Brazil. It is skippered by Rhode Island’s Charlie Enright, who skippered Team Alvimedia in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.

The overall race leader, MAPFRE, had to pause racing for repairs Thursday. It took the team approximately 16 hours to resume racing.

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The race is making its only North American stop in Newport in May.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.