Thursday, 5 April 2007

+39 Challenge re-step the old mast

No wind today, but at least that meant a reprieve for +39 as they spent another day working on their mast, but on this occasion their Version 4 mast which they had hoped never to have to use again. Speaking to Iain Percy earlier this afternoon, he sounded a bit down about things, not surprisingly.

Yesterday Percy was amazingly upbeat, but perhaps that was simply having survived after a near-death experience with a piece of rod rigging that fell just a few inches from where he was standing. It went straight through the carbon deck of ITA 85, so heaven knows what might have happened if it had landed on Percy or tactician Ian Walker, who was also nearby.

Today, the upset of losing their rig had sunk in. There is a massive difference between a Version 4 mast and the new Version 5 rigs. For a start the new rigs are about 70kg lighter and the higher modulus carbon makes them a good deal stiffer too. Alinghi is believed to have offered the team the use of its 2003 Cup-winning mast, which is a generous offer, but option No.1 is probably to repair the mast that broke yesterday. Percy doesn’t see that happening until Round Robin 2, however.

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