NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Another boat has dismasted in the Ocean Race as the fleet approaches Newport, Rhode Island, for its only North American stopover.
The GUYOT environnement – Team Europe crew was racing in fourth place overnight in gale force winds and heavy seas when the boat slammed off a wave and the mast crashed down. Despite worsening conditions, the crew was able to cut the wreckage of rigging away to avoid further damage to the boat, while preserving as much equipment as possible.
The crew was reported to be safe and working on a jury rig. The boat is about 600 miles east of Newport. Race officials in Alicante, Spain, have been in contact with the crew, which has not requested outside assistance. The sailors and their shore crew are evaluating the next steps, which could include going to Halifax, Canada, or to be towed with a ship or a fishing boat to the United States.
Earlier on Leg 4 from Itajai, Brazil, to Newport, overall race leader Holcim-PRB dismasted and headed for Rio de Janeiro. Holcim-PRB planned to ship the boat to Newport, giving up the chance to earn points on the fourth leg in order to be ready for the start of Leg 5 on May 21. A replacement mast is already on its way from France.
Newport-based 11th Hour Racing is leading the three and is due in port on Wednesday.